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Sir  Walter  Raleigh. 

(.If,',-:    Ik,    tuinting  (artist  unknown)  in  the  National  Portrait  Gallery.) 

Sir  Walter  Raleigh 



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II.  THE   ROAD  OF  THE  SUNSET    .        .        37 

III.  BELPHOEBE'S  SMILE     .        .        .        .        61 

IV.  MANOA  THE  GOLDEN       .        .        .        83 
V.   CADIZ   BAR 107 

VI.   NEW  TIMES;   NEW   MEN        .        .129 

VIII.   FAIRY  GOLD  '  '.  * 

,  •  .  , 


IX.  THE   KING'S'. )J A.TH.  ... 

0      )  '      i      -j  ,     ) 

X.  THE  LAST  VENTURE         .        .        .      213 

XI.   "  A    BETTER     INDIES    THAN     THE 

KING  OF  SPAIN'S'         .  229 


SIR  WALTER  RALEIGH       .          .          .          Frontispiece 

(Frsm   the  Portrait  in   the  National  'Portrait   Gallery, 
artist  unknown?) 

THE  BOYHOOD  OF  RALEIGH       ....       32 

(From   the  Picture  by   Sir  John  Millais,   R.A.) 

The   End-paper>x'rcT;aJ7y'r(iey  '-ar..d:  lyfejffhapter  Illustrations 
:an  by ''Mr. 

>  •    »          • 

To  Master   George  Edward  Brown. 


You  have  given  me  permission  to 
put  your  name  in  this  book,  so  I  owe  it  to  you 
to  explain  its  purpose.  It  is  a  life  of  Sir  Walter 
Raleigh,  told  in  eleven  stories.  I  have  taken  the 
chief  scenes  in  his  life,  and  made  some  friend  or 
follower  write  about  them  as  if  he  had  seen  them 
with  his  own  eyes.  I  do  not  know  if  there  was 
ever  a  Gervase  Luttrell  or  a  Nathan  Stubbs,  but  I 
know  that  people  just  like  them  lived  in  Raleigh's 
day,  and  saw  and  heard  the  things  they  write 
about  here.  So,  though  I  have  invented  some 
of  the  characters,  all  that  they  tell  us  really  hap- 
pened, and  most  of  the  little  incidents  and  speeches 
will  be  found  recorded  in  old  books.  It  is  a  story, 
but  an  "ower  true"  story,  and  you  must  not  think 
that  it  only  came  out  of  my  head. 

It  is  intended  for  all  sorts  of  people  to  read,  but 


especially  for  boys.  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  is  the 
most  boyish  hero  in  history.  Till  his  head  fell 
on  the  block  he  never  lost  his  eager,  generous 
interest  in  life.  He  was  planning  great  adven- 
tures when  other  men  are  dull  and  middle-aged. 
His  heart  was  always  young — and  that  is  a  very 
different  thing  from  being  childish.  He  made 
many  mistakes,  and  paid  heavily  for  them  ;  but 
no  misfortunes  could  crush  his  spirit.  When  all 
that  he  had  built  fell  about  his  ears,  he  set 
patiently  to  work  to  build  it  up  anew.  Like  a 
great  modern  poet,  he 

"  Held  we  fall  to  rise,  are  baffled  to  fight  better, 
Sleep  to  wake." 

He  had  almost  every  talent.  He  was  a  brilliant 
courtier,  a  gallant  soldier  and  sailor,  a  great  dis- 
coverer, a  very  wise  statesman,  a  learned  scholar, 
and  a  true  poet.  No  man  ever  got  more  out  of 
life,  both  joy  and  sorrow.  He  was  never  afraid 
to  take  risks,  for  he  thought  that  achievement 
was  cheaply  purchased  by  suffering.  His  story, 
if  we  look  at  it  in  one  way,  is  a  tragedy,  for  all 
his  ventures  seemed  to  fail,  and  after  weary  years 
in  prison  he  died  on  the  scaffold.  But,  properly 


considered,  it  is  a  happy  tale,  for  he  never  lost 
heart,  and  disaster  never  conquered  his  courage, 
He  sowed  the  seed  which  bore  fruit  long  after 
his  time.  It  was  the  example  and  the  teaching 
of  Raleigh  that  first  set  our  people  forming 
colonies  in  new  lands.  The  British  Empire  of 
to-day,  and  the  Republic  of  the  United  States, 
are  alike  built  on  his  dreams.  So  you  see  that 
after  all  he  fulfilled  the  purpose  of  his  life,  and 
gave  to  the  English  race  "  a  better  Indies  than 
the  King  of  Spain's." 

Your  affectionate  friend, 
J-  B. 


Chapter    I. 

"  Still  climbing  trees  in  the  Hesperides." 

—  Love's  Labour's  Lost,  iv.  3. 

5rp\VAS  in  the  summer  of  1564,  I  think,  that 
I  first  got  a  hint  of  the  quality  of  my 
playfellow.  Our  land  in  those  days  was  at  peace 
with  Spain  ;  but  both  sides  watched  each  other 
like  sheep-dogs  at  a  fair,  waiting  to  spring  on 
the  first  show  of  offence.  For  had  not  that 
gracious  and  magnificent  lady,  our  Queen 
Gloriana,  scoffed  at  the  suit  of  His  Catholic 

*  This  story  was  told  by  Sir  John  Buller,  Knight,  of  Newkerne,  in  Devon, 
to  his  grandson  Jack,  who  when  he  grew  older  wrote  it  down  in  a  book.  A 
second  Jack,  great-grandson  of  the  first,  used  to  read  it  on  summer  Sunday 
afternoons  to  his  nephews  and  great-nephews,  one  of  whom  remembered  it 
and  long  afterwards  told  it  to  me. 


and  Spanish  Majesty,  who  was  little  used  to 
rebuffs  from  man  or  woman  ?  Likewise,  the 
Queen  of  Scots  was  threatening  alarums  from  the 
north,  so  it  became  all  good  lovers  of  England 
to  keep  their  blades  keen  against  evils  to  come. 
We  were  a  band  of  five  in  the  Otter  valley,  lads 
much  of  an  age  :  myself,  the  eldest,  not  yet 
turned  of  thirteen.  There  was  Dick  Cham- 
pernoun  from  Clyst,  the  hardest  hitter  and  the 
lustiest  of  the  band.  I  see  yet  his  yellow 
tumbled  hair,  and  the  steady  grey  eyes  which 
death  glazed  five  years  later  on  the  field  of 
Moncontour.  There  was  Humphrey  Sneyd 
from  ten  miles  up  the  water,  who  would  ride 
down  on  a  pony  to  our  Saturday's  sports  with 
tales  of  the  moormen  and  the  outlandish  ways 
of  the  hill  country.  There  was  Harry  Duke, 
too,  from  Otterton,  a  silent  lad,  and  the  best 
to  handle  a  boat  I  have  ever  known.  Indeed, 
his  true  fellows  were  the  sailor  folk  of  Budleigh  ; 
for  any  hours  he  could  snatch  from  his  school- 
ing he  was  off  to  the  bass-fishing,  or  driving 
his  little  ketch  in  the  worst  gales  of  our  parts. 
He  had  been  east  to  Poole  and  west  to  Plymouth, 


but  already  he  was  sated  with  our  coasts  and 
burned  for  the  high  seas. 

And  last  there  was  Walter  Raleigh  from  Hayes 
Barton,  the  youngest  of  the  four,  and  as  silent 
as  Harry  Duke,  but  with  a  different  manner 
of  silence.  He  was  the  only  scholar  in  our 
band,  and  turned  to  his  books  as  readily  as 
to  a  horse  or  a  full  river.  He  had  a  fine 
virginal  face,  with  the  soft  colour  of  a  maid, 
and  a  low  delicate  voice.  But  there  was  that 
in  his  blue  eyes  which  kindled  at  times  into 
naked  devilry  ;  and  at  such  seasons,  though  the 
youngest,  none  dared  gainsay  his  leadership. 
'Twas  he  who  first  leaped  the  awful  chasm 
called  Tamsin's  Gap,  and  one  winter  day  swam 
the  roaring  Otter  because  I  had  questioned  his 
valour.  'Twas  he,  too,  who  at  Bixton  Fair, 
when  the  sailors  and  the  moormen  came  to 
blows,  headed  a  rally  with  a  blunt  hanger  and 
sent  the  hill-folk  scurrying  out  of  the  town. 

But  to  my  tale.  The  summer  of  the  year  I 
speak  of  was  hot  and  dry,  so  that  we  lads  from 
the  landward  parts  were  fain  to  go  often  to  the 
shore  to  swim  and  get  the  cool  airs  from  the 


water,  while  we  watched  for  great  ships  passing 
out  Channel.  Now  at  the  little  port  of  Budleigh 
there  is  an  inn,  The  Flying  Hinde  its  name, 
much  frequented  of  merchants  and  travellers, 
and  a  place  of  resort,  too,  for  the  townsfolk  and 
the  neighbouring  gentlemen.  Opposite  the  inn, 
fronting  on  the  sea,  is  a  hillock  of  green  grass 
with  a  little  flagstaff  atop  of  it,  from  which  the 
eye  has  a  noble  prospect  over  the  bay  of  Otter 
and  out  into  the  narrow  seas.  It  was  a  pleasant 
place  of  a  summer  afternoon,  with  the  bees  dron- 
ing in  the  hot  thyme  and  the  gulls  crying.  The 
potman  from  The  Flying  Hinde  would  fetch 
tankards  of  ale,  and  any  day  about  four  o'clock 
you  would  find  a  bench  of  old  seafarers  telling 
tales  of  the  great  deep.  To  such  tales  we  lads 
loved  to  listen — Dick  and  Humphrey  each  prone 
on  his  face  with  a  stem  of  grass  between  his  lips, 
Harry  walking  restlessly  with  his  eyes  on  the  sea, 
and  Walter  Raleigh  sitting  with  hands  clasping 
knees,  his  gaze  dwelling  hungrily  on  the  face  of 
the  narrator. 

On  this  afternoon  there  were  but  two  on  the 
hill.      One  was  Noah   Stubbs,  an  ancient  sailor- 


man,  wanting  the  left  arm,  whose  family  dwelt  in 
Budleigh.  Noah  was  something  of  an  oracle  to 
us  younger  folk,  for  he  had  adventured  far  in  his 
travels,  had  seen  the  Main,  and  dealt  lusty  blows 
in  the  Spanish  isles.  A  round  shot  in  the  Azores 
had  carried  off  an  arm,  and,  being  turned  sixty 
and  well-to-do  from  his  ventures,  he  had  settled 
in  a  cottage  with  a  venerable  mother  to  spend  his 
last  years  in  peace.  He  was  a  square-set,  brawny 
fellow,  very  deep  in  the  chest,  with  a  swarthy 
countenance  and  great  black  eyes  like  a  Spaniard. 
He  had  hoops  of  gold  in  his  ears,  and  bracelets 
of  copper  and  golden  wire  at  his  wrist.  His 
dress  in  summer-time  was  no  more  than  a  shirt 
and  old  breeches  of  seaman's  cloth,  below  which 
his  great  knotted  legs  stood  out  like  oak-trees. 
He  had  a  habit  of  chewing  some  herb,  so  that 
his  teeth  were  yellow  as  doubloons. 

The  other  was  a  stranger  who  came  twice  or 
thrice  a  year  to  our  port,  and  dealt  with  the 
country  folk  in  foreign  merchandise.  He  was  a 
Frenchman  out  of  Brittany,  a  man  of  Noah's 
years  but  more  fallen  in  his  age.  Master  Laurens 
they  called  him,  and  all  Budleigh  paid  him 


respect,  for  he  had  an  eye  that  commanded  it. 
He  captained  a  merchant  barque,  but  no  man 
knew  his  home  or  his  history,  save  that  he  was 
of  the  Reformed  religion,  and  had  fallen  out  with 
the  French  king  in  the  matter  of  his  faith.  There 
were  some  said  he  had  been  a  rover  in  the  western 
seas  and  had  repented  of  his  sins ;  others,  that  he 
had  escaped  from  the  Spanish  galleys  ;  while 
others  would  have  it  that  he  was  a  noble  of 
France  who  for  state  reasons  came  to  us  as  a 
plain  sea-captain.  There  was  that  in  his  grave, 
manly  carriage  that  spelled  gentility,  if  I  am  any 
judge  of  it.  He  spoke  our  tongue  well,  and 
would  often  sit  within  or  without  The  Flying 
Hinde,  listening  to  Noah's  tales  of  his  deeds,  but 
himself  speaking  little. 

This  day  Noah  was  full  of  memories.  He  had 
sailed  with  Master  William  Hawkins,  father  of 
the  great  Sir  John,  in  his  ship  Po/a,  of  Plymouth, 
to  the  African  coast  in  quest  of  negroes,  and  had 
been  ashore  on  nigh  every  isle  of  the  Indies.  He 
deplored  the  might  of  the  Spaniard,  and  con- 
demned his  insolence. 

"  Look  ye,"  he  cried,  "  he  claims  the  whole 


West  in  the  name  of  Christ,  and  yet  his  deeds 
smell  rankly  to  Heaven.  What  English  blood 
can  stomach  the  taunt  ?  If  we  so  much  as  put 
our  nose  inside  his  Isles,  the  odds  are  we  are 
shown  the  door  with  half  our  hulls  blown  off. 
Is  it  fit  that  the  golden  wealth  of  the  Indies 
should  go  to  fatten  the  Pope  and  his  priests  ? 
The  reckoning  comes,  I  tell  you,"  and  he  spat 
fiercely  on  the  ground. 

Walter  Raleigh  up  and  asked  him  about  this 
wealth,  and  Noah's  tongue  grew  looser. 

"  Ha'n't  I  seen  it  with  my  own  eyes  ?  I  ha' 
been  in  Porto  Bello  at  the  summer  Fair,  when 
all  the  treasure  of  the  Indies  is  brought  together. 
I  ha'  seen  the  streets  piled  with  silver  ingots  like 
causeway  stones,  and  mule  teams  from  Panama 
bringing  every  hour  quintals  of  gold.  Look  ye, 
young  masters,  there  be  no  end  to  the  riches  of 
those  lands.  Merchants  walk  the  place  like  kings, 
and  the  Spanish  Governors  are  more  magnifical 
than  any  Emperor.  Down  from  the  mountains 
of  New  Granada  comes  emeralds  as  big  as  round- 
shot.  There  are  pearls  from  Margarita,  and 
cacao  and  costly  herbs  from  Cartagena,  and  dye- 


woods  from  New  Spain.  Ay,  and  gold  from  the 
length  and  breadth  of  the  Main,  as  plenteous  as 
herrings  on  Budleigh  Quay.  There  be  a  great 
King's  ship,  you  must  know,  called  the  Navio  del 
Oro,  which  plies  from  Panama  to  Callao,  and 
collects  King's  tribute  on  that  coast.  They  fetch 
it  over  the  isthmus  on  mules,  and  oft  I  ha'  longed 
for  a  hundred  Devon  men  to  wait  snugly  at  a 
corner  of  the  road.  And  out  in  the  roadstead 
you  may  see  the  fleets  of  Spain,  twenty  war 
vessels  with  fifty  guns  apiece,  awaiting  to  bear 
the  treasure  home.  I  ha'  seen  the  General  of 
the  Galleons — they  call  him  General,  which  be 
a  strange  name  for  a  sailorman — come  ashore  in 
a  pinnace  with  rowers  in  steel  and  scarlet,  and 
a  cloth  o'  gold  on  the  thwart,  and  negresses 
a-waving  palm-leaves  to  cool  the  air.  Maybe 
you  ha'  seen  the  sight,  Master  Laurens  ?  ' 

The  Frenchman  shook  his  head.  "  I  have 
never  been  to  Porto  Bello.  But  I  have  seen 
the  Almirante  of  the  Flota  come  ashore  at  San 
Juan  d'Ulloa  in  somewhat  less  state.  He  swam, 
with  his  arm  on  a  spar,  what  time  his  flagship 



Noah  laughed.  "  The  hand  of  God  was  not 
idle  that  day,  camarado.  Would  that  it  moved 
oftener,  for  the  sinking  of  a  fleet  or  two  would 
ease  His  Catholic  Majesty  of  a  little  pride." 

Some  one  of  us  lads  asked  why,  if  such  rich 
argosies  sailed  the  seas,  there  were  no  enemies  of 
Spain  at  hand  to  trouble  them.  I  think  we  all 
dreamed  that  capturing  a  Spaniard  was  as  easy  as 
spearing  a  flounder  in  the  Otter  mouth. 

"  They  keep  together,"  said  Noah,  "  like  the 
moormen  at  Bixton  Fair.  Nothing  less  than 
a  dozen  great  ships  of  war  could  master  the 
Galleons,  and  till  Queen  Bess  fights  King  Philip 
the  sight  will  not  be  seen.  But  we  corsarios 
have  adventured  against  single  vessels,  and  often- 
times cut  off  a  lesser  ship.  I  mind  at  the  Isle 
o'  Pines —  But  indeed  I  fear  to  speak  of  violent 
doings  in  your  presence,  masters." 

The  Frenchman  smiled  pleasantly.  "'Twas  an 
honest  cause  and  a  clean  war,"  he  said.  "  The 
hearing  will  do  these  lads  no  ill,  and  I  am  too  old 
and  worn  to  be  corrupted." 

"  Well,  'twas  but  a  little  thing,"  said  Noah, 
nothing  loth.  "  We  had  no  better  craft  than  a 

(1,562)  2 


frail  patache — myself,  Tom  Carey  of  Bideford, 
an  Irishman  called  Bourke,  the  Frenchman  Jean 
Terrier,  and  four  Indians  from  the  Logwood 
coast.  Our  haven  was  the  River  of  St.  John  in 
Florida,  but  we  laid  up  like  other  venturers  at 
the  Isle  o'  Pines,  under  the  lee  of  Cuba,  and 
waited  for  what  fortune  God  might  send  us. 
We  watched  the  tall  Galleons  staggering  up  with 
the  land  wind  to  round  old  St.  Antonio,  and 
danced  for  grief  that  we  must  let  'em  pass  un- 
hindered. There  they  were,  like  a  flock  of 
swans,  crammed  to  the  bilge  with  gold,  while 
we  hungry  Christians  sat  on  a  hot  rock  and 
cursed  'em.  We  durstn't  venture,  for  one  shot 
amidships  would  have  sunk  our  crazy  patache. 
We  had  captured  her  but  a  month  before  in  the 
Bahamas,  and  she  was  foul  and  rotten  with  ill 
handling.  For  us  to  outface  a  navy  was  madder 
than  for  a  sprat  to  charge  a  shoal  of  whales.  So 
we  waited  and  banned  'em. 

"  The  Galleons  went  down  seas  and  out  of 
sight,  and  presently  comes  another  craft  in  their 
wake.  In  a  trice  I  see  what  she  was.  She  was 
the  General's  azogue,  which  had  gone  to  Cam- 


peachy  for  the  Tabasco  tribute,  and  was  now  in 
a  hurry  to  get  up  with  her  convoy.  The  silly 
thing  had  blundered  too  far  south  on  her  long 
tack.  Then  she  had  catched  sight  of  the  Galleons 
to  the  east,  and  swung  round  and  come  down 
wind  after  'em. 

"  We  knowed  it  was  the  chance  of  our  lives, 
and  were  in  a  stew  to  get  started.  We  run  the 
patache  out  into  the  wind  with  oars,  and  swooped 
down  on  the  azogue  like  a  fish-hawk.  For  a 
moment  we  thought  she  had  the  heels  of  us, 
and  so  she  had  if  the  lubbers  aboard  her  had 
been  seamen.  Moreover,  had  she  stopped  to 
fight,  she  might  ha'  blown  us  out  of  the  water, 
for  we  carried  but  two  old  guns,  which  would 
have  missed  a  mountain  at  a  catapult's  length. 
But  she  were  mad  with  fear,  and  held  her  course 
without  a  shot  till  we  scraped  her  side  and 
skipped  over  her  bulwarks.  Two  hundred 
quintals  of  silver,  camarados — two  hundred  thou- 
sand honest  English  pounds,  besides  a  good  store 
of  ducats.  We  towed  her  back  to  our  island, 
where  we  marooned  the  Spaniards,  and  in  three 
days  got  some  kind  of  crew  in  her  and  sailed  her 


back  to  English  seas.  Fourteen  blessed  weeks  the 
voyage  lasted,  and  Jean  Terrier's  leg  had  to  come 
off  along  of  a  spar  crushing  it,  whence  ever  after 
the  Spaniards  called  him  '  Pie  de  Palo.'  That's 
all  my  tale,  masters.  Now  that  I  ha'  run  into 
port  for  good,  'tis  a  kind  of  comfort  to  reflect 
that  I  once  had  a  Governor  of  Campeachy 
plucking  seafowls  for  my  dinner." 

One  of  us  asked  him  if  he  had  ever  fought  the 
Spaniard  at  greater  odds,  for  ship  against  ship 
seemed  to  us  dull  fighting. 

"  Not  I,"  said  Noah.  "  They  are  better  armed 
and  manned  than  us,  and  'twould  have  been 
tempting  Providence  too  far  to  risk  further  odds. 
We  were  weak  with  eating  rotten  flesh  and 
drinking  foul  water,  and  sweating  'neath  a  sun 
whose  every  beam  is  charged  with  fever. 
Would  you  have  us  add  to  Heaven's  hardships  ? 
Besides,  we  loved  not  to  fall  into  the  Spaniard's 
hands,  for  his  tender  mercies  were  cruel.  At  the 
best  'twas  the  galleys  of  Cadiz  or  glorifying  God 
on  the  faggots  in  Valladolid  Square.  At  the 
worst  'twas  such  torments  as  only  fiends  dream 
of."  Noah,  smiling  grimly,  bared  his  single 


arm  and  showed  a  long  straggling  seam  from  the 
wrist  nigh  almost  to  the  shoulder.  "  The  tale 
of  that  beauty  mark  won't  bear  telling  to  young 
ears,"  he  said. 

I  noted  that  Walter  Raleigh's  face  had  kindled. 
"  Was  there  no  man  among  you,"  he  asked, 
"  bold  enough  to  captain  the  corsarios  and  make 
a  fleet  of  your  little  ships  ? ' 

"  I  ha'  heard  of  but  one,"  Noah  answered, 
"  and  he  left  the  seas  long  time  ago.  I  never 
clapped  eyes  on  him,  but  his  name  was  as  famous 
as  King  Philip's.  Nay,  not  his  name,  for  I  never 
heard  it,  but  a  byname  the  Spaniards  gave  him. 
They  called  him  '  The  Luterano,'  for  he  was  a 
Frenchman  of  the  Reformed  faith  and  mightily 
incensed  against  the  Pope.  But  withal  he  was  a 
just  man  and  a  merciful,  selling  back  his  captives 
like  a  Christian  for  good  gold,  and  never  wantonly 
affronting  a  poor  man.  In  truth,  even  in  the 
Spanish  lands,  the  common  people  praised  him, 
for  he  would  plunder  the  Almirantes  and  give  a 
good  tithe  in  charity  to  those  they  had  grinded 
down.  I  ha'  seen  his  topsails  in  the  Bahama  Keys, 
and  'twas  a  comfortable  sight  to  watch  the  caravels 


and  barques  running  for  shelter  to  the  forts  like 
pullets  when  a  sparrow-hawk  hovers.  I  once 
shipped  alongside  his  first  seaman,  a  man  out  of 
Cornwall,  an  honest  lad  but  full  of  fierce  oaths. 
He  had  tales — yea,  by  Harry's  soul,  he  had  tales." 

Noah  stopped  and  hunted  in  the  pouch  of  his 
breeches  for  some  of  the  herb  he  chewed.  He 
pretended  to  be  afraid  of  Humphrey,  who  would 
have  beaten  him  for  his  slow  speech.  "  Mercy, 
brave  sir,  you  melt  my  old  bones.  You  look 
like  the  Luterano  himself,  when  I  saw  him  singe 
the  beards  of  the  Dons  in  Habana  tideway." 

"But  I  thought  you  said  you  had  never  seen 
him,"  I  put  in. 

"  In  a  manner  of  speaking  I  ha'  not,  and  again 
in  a  manner  of  speaking  I  have.  Leastways  I 
ha'  seen  his  ship,  and  I  ha'  seen  him  fight. 
'Twas  in  Habana,  where  for  my  sins  I  was  carry- 
ing cut  stone  on  the  harbour  wall  along  of 
blackamoors  and  Indians.  An  ill  wind  up  in 
the  Florida  Keys  had  brought  down  on  us  a 
Spanish  ship  of  war  while  we  were  all  sick  to 
death  of  the  fever.  She  sank  our  craft,  and  with 
it  my  poor  honest  comrades,  but  I  floated  till  a 


Spaniard  grabbed  my  hair  and  haled  me  aboard. 
They  took  me  to  Habana,  where  I  was  fed  on 
offal  and  set  to  toil  with  the  Almirante's  slaves. 
'Twas  a  grim  task  to  sweat  there  in  the  steaming 
noons  with  the  whip  flicking  off  patches  of  your 
hide  should  you  halt  even  to  wipe  your  forehead. 
I  was  sunk  in  melancholy,  for  I  mourned  for  my 
dead  comrades,  and  but  for  a  confident  hope  in 
God's  charity,  would  ha'  leaped,  shackles  and  all, 
into  the  sea. 

"  I  ha'  told  you  ere  this  of  my  escape  through 
the  merciful  dispensation  of  an  earthquake.  But 
what  I  tell  now  happened  in  the  blackest  days  of 
my  captivity,  and  gave  me  grace  to  pluck  up 
heart.  One  morning  there  came  a  rumour 
among  us  slaves  of  a  bold  deed  at  Chagre  on  the 
Main.  It  seemed  that  the  Lord  Viceroy  of 
Panama  had  sent  his  own  caravel  to  Hispaniola 
for  horses,  and  that  the  loaded  ship  was  on  the 
point  of  making  Chagre  when  up  comes  our  friend 
the  Luterano.  His  craft  was  ever  a  swift  patache, 
in  which  he  would  strike  down  the  greatest 
vessel  that  sailed  the  seas.  In  half  an  hour  he 
had  the  Viceroy's  crew  under  hatches,  and 


presently  all  the  horses  were  in  the  water 
swimming  to  land.  The  Luterano  wanted  no 
plunder,  but  only  a  seaworthy  craft  to  oblige  a 
friend.  He  dropped  the  Spaniards  into  the 
caravel's  cock-boats  to  make  the  shore  at  their 
leisure,  and  upped  sails  and  made  for  the  seas. 
Here  was  a  pretty  singeing  of  His  Majesty's 
beard,  and  there  was  hue  and  cry  along  the  Main, 
and  ships  of  war  watching  all  the  gates  of  the 
Isles.  But  never  a  trace  could  they  find  of  the 
Luterano.  Word  came  that  a  merchant  had 
seen  his  sails  off  Margarita,  and  next  morn  there 
would  be  news  of  him  from  Campeachy.  He 
spirited  about  these  seas  as  if  he  were  verily  that 
Father  of  Lies  the  Dons  believed  him.  WTe 
poor  souls  on  the  harbour  wall  heard  the  rumour 
of  the  tale  and  laughed  at  the  jest  of  it,  little 
witting  that  we  were  to  see  with  our  own  eyes 
the  next  move  of  our  brave  gentleman. 

"  A  week  later,  one  blistering  midday,  there 
rose  a  great  crying  from  some  small  craft  in  the 
harbour.  You  must  know,  sirs,  that  the  bay  of 
Habana  is  a  narrow  one  at  the  mouth,  and  runs 
far  inland,  growing  shallower  as  it  nears  its  head. 


The  fort  and  city  lie  on  one  side  of  this  bay,  and 
on  the  other  is  a  green  swampy  shore  with  much 
forest.  We  could  see  a  light  patache  anchored 
there,  and  every  merchant  captain  in  the  port 
shaking  his  fist  at  her  and  shouting  that  'twas 
the  Luterano.  And  sure  enough  she  flew  at  her 
masthead  the  French  lilies. 

"  'Twas  like  a  mad  dog,  that  every  one  shouts 
on  his  neighbour  to  kill  but  none  durst  go  near. 
The  patache  lay  peacefully  at  anchor,  and  a  man 
on  her  deck  played  a  little  air  on  a  tabor.  There 
were  five  Spanish  ships  of  war  in  the  bay,  but  so 
great  was  the  terror  of  the  stranger  that  not  one 
of  the  five — or  all  of  them  together — ventured 
near  her.  So  there  he  might  have  lain  as  long 
as  he  pleased  had  it  not  been  for  the  citizens  of 
Habana,  and  especially  my  task  -  master,  the 
Almirante  of  the  port,  who  was  determined  the 
corsario  should  not  escape  him.  So  he  summons 
the  captains  of  the  Spanish  ships,  and  bids  them 
at  any  cost  take  the  Luterano,  and  promises  to 
pay  for  any  hurt  done  in  the  attempt  to  ships  or 
men.  Two  captains  refused,  but  three  were  so 
shamed  by  the  Almirante  that  they  assented  to 


do  his  bidding,  and  sailed  down  on  the  little 

"  The  wind  blew  off  the  farther  shore,  and 
long  ere  the  warships  could  tack  across,  the 
Luterano  was  fleeing  for  the  upper  end  of  the 
bay.  He  knew  to  an  inch  the  depth  of  water, 
and  scudded  over  shoals  and  bars  where  no 
heavier  craft  could  follow.  There  he  anchored, 
while  a  quarter  mile  outside  the  Spaniards  halted 
and  shot  at  him  with  their  great  guns.  They 
never  came  near  him,  but  continued  the  salvo 
till  nightfall,  and  then,  having  a  fear  lest  he 
should  board  them  in  the  dark,  they  returned  to 

"  Next  day  'twas  the  same.  The  five  warships 
— for  the  other  two  by  now  had  plucked  up 
courage — sailed  up  with  the  tide  and  fired  guns 
all  the  day.  The  shots  fanned  the  air,  maybe, 
into  a  pleasant  coolness,  but  did  not  scrape  a 
finger  of  paint  from  the  little  patache.  A 
company  of  soldiers  came  round  by  land  and 
would  have  rowed  out  to  her,  but  her  guns 
deterred  'em.  The  game  was  pleasant  for  the 
Luterano,  for  he  had  good  anchorage,  sweet 


water  nigh  at  hand  on  the  shore,  and  the  spectacle 
of  his  foes  and  their  foolishness. 

"  The  morning  after,  a  hurricane  blew  down 
on  us  from  the  nor'-east,  and  the  shipping 
in  the  port  was  like  to  break  its  moor- 
ings. The  warships  did  not  venture  out,  for 
their  crews  were  as  lubberly  sailors  as  they  were 
vile  marksmen.  They  lay  tied  up  to  the  shore 
with  cables,  one  hull  pounding  on  the  other, 
while  we  on  the  harbour  wall  toiled  in  the  teeth 
of  the  gale,  thanking  Heaven  for  the  cool 
weather.  Presently  out  of  the  scud  we  could 
see  a  little  patache  with  every  sail  set  and  a  bank 
of  men  at  the  sweeps,  striving  to  get  clear  up 
the  bay.  'Twas  friend  Luterano,  weary  of 
sitting  on  a  mud  bank.  He  had  no  time  or 
room  to  tack,  but  trusted  to  the  broad  backs  of 
his  crew. 

"  Instantly  there  was  a  commotion  among  the 
warships.  And  the  three  that  had  attacked  the 
first  day  made  haste  to  pursue.  They  cut  their 
cables  at  the  slack  and  plunged  down  wind  after 
the  patache.  Now  you  must  know  that  the 
tide  in  a  nor'-easter  in  the  port  runs  monstrous 


hard  ;  and  what  with  the  wind  on  the  beam,  and 
the  furious  waves  and  bad  handling,  all  three 
were  like  to  have  foundered.  By  this  time  the 
patache  was  in  the  throat  of  the  bay,  and  the 
ships  of  war,  thinking  her  capture  beyond  hope, 
and  being  fearful  of  their  lives,  endeavoured  to 
return.  But  they  could  not  bring  the  vessels 
round,  and  the  crews,  falling  into  a  panic, 
lowered  the  boats  and  made  for  the  shore.  One 
boat  was  swamped,  but  the  other  cargoes  of 
tallow-chandlers  came  safe  to  port. 

".Presently  the  Luterano,  casting  a  look  back, 
saw  how  things  were  shaping.  He  observed 
three  deserted  ships  of  war  tossing  in  the  tide- 
way, and  being  a  thrifty  man  sought  to  salve 
them.  By  Harry's  soul,  'twas  a  sight  to  see  how 
he  drove  his  little  ship  in  the  teeth  of  a  full  gale 
and  a  swollen  sea.  We  on  the  harbour  wall 
cheered  him  lustily,  for  in  the  confusion  of  the 
wind  none  could  hear  us.  He  secured  all  three 
ships,  while  their  crews  watched  him  from  the 
town.  Having  no  need  of  a  fleet,  he  laid  a  train 
of  powder  and  set  two  of  'em  alight.  They 
blazed  like  a  pharos  as  the  wind  caught  their 


top-gear,  and  settled  down  on  the  lee  shore 
to  smoulder  half  the  night.  Meantime  the 
Luterano  put  some  of  his  men  in  the  third  and 
best  of  the  ships,  and  sailed  off  to  the  Florida 
Straits  to  lie  in  wait  for  His  Majesty's  Galleons." 

Harry  Duke  tossed  his  cap  into  the  air. 
"  Bravo  ! '  he  cried.  "  There  was  a  man  and  a 
seaman  !  Would  we  had  more  of  his  breed  ! ' 

Master  Laurens  smiled  and  shook  his  head. 
"  'Tis  a  good  tale,  Noah,  but  in  one  matter 
you  err.  I,  too,  have  heard  of  your  Luterano, 
and  he  cared  little  for  the  Galleons  of  Spain. 
He  sought,  like  many  adventurers,  a  bigger 

Walter  Raleigh,  whose  eyes  never  left  the 
Frenchman's  face,  asked  him  what  that  was. 

"  A  new  world,"  he  said  softly.  "  He  cared 
little  to  harry  Spain,  though  'twas  a  righteous 
work  enough.  But  he  burned  all  his  days — nay, 
burneth  still  if  he  is  above  the  ground — for  a 
new  Indies,  where  the  Spaniard  hath  never  trod. 
The  West  is  full  of  the  tales  of  it." 

"  Ay,  ay,"  Noah  broke  in  ;  "  I  too  have  had 
my  hunt  for  El  Dorado.  I  got  a  chart  once  out 


of  Master  Potter  of  Bristol,  the  true  tale  of  one 
Tom  Medlicot,  with  the  bearings  and  soundings 
shown.  But  by  following  it  I  ran  into  the  claws 
of  the  Almirante  of  New  Spain,  and  lost  chart 
and  ship,  and  all  but  the  breeches  I  stood  in.  I 
ha'  never  touched  at  El  Dorado,  masters,  but  I 
ha'  seen  such  a  place  afar  off  when  wind  and  tide 
suffered  me  to  come  no  nearer." 

We  asked  him  the  whereabouts  of  the  country. 

"  'Tis  a  week's  journey  nor'-nor'-by-east  of  the 
River  of  St.  John.  There  is  a  multitude  of 
islands,  green  as  England,  with  air  as  sweet  as  a 
Devon  moor,  and  all  manner  of  fine  pastures  and 
orchard  land.  There  are  no  fevers  such  as 
scourge  the  Main,  and  no  hurtful  beasts,  and  the 
soil  is  so  good  that  a  man  may  harvest  twice  a 
year.  I  had  thoughts  of  planting  myself  there  to 
wear  out  my  old  age,  but  the  winds  drove  me  off, 
and  ere  I  could  try  again  King  Philip  had  laid 
hold  on  me.  I  ha'  heard  also  from  an  Indian  at 
Campeachy  of  a  land  in  the  mountains  in  the 
West  where  the  sand  of  the  rivers  is  gold,  such  as 
you  read  of  in  Holy  Writ.  But  all  Indians  be 
mighty  liars." 


"  You    have    been    to   El  Dorado,   Master  ? ' 
Raleigh  asked  the  Frenchman. 

"  I  have  seen  it,"  said  the  old  man,  "  or  what 
I  took  to  be  it,  but  only  afar  off,  like  Moses  from 

We  were  clamorous  to  know  more  of  this 
Promised  Land,  and  Master  Laurens,  wetting 
his  finger  with  ale,  drew  a  plan  of  it  on  the 
little  table  by  which  he  sat.  'Twas  Hebrew  to 
us  lads,  but  we  gathered  that  the  place  lay  in  the 
south  part  of  the  Americas  which  the  Spaniards 
call  Tierra  Firme,  and  many  hundred  miles 
south  of  the  Main.  It  seemed  there  was  a  great 
river  which  Master  Laurens  called  the  Orinoko, 
a  river  as  wide  as  our  Narrow  Seas.  At  first  it 
flowed  among  salt  marshes,  and  then  as  you 
travelled  up  its  stream  you  came  to  great  forests 
where  strange  beasts  dwelt  and  stranger  men. 
And  after  weeks  and  maybe  months  of  travel, 
when  the  river  had  grown  little,  you  came  to 
uplands  full  of  flocks  and  herds  and  fields  of  grain, 
and  great  Indian  towns  where  gold  and  silver 
were  of  no  account  for  commonness.  And  last 
of  all,  when  the  river  was  no  more  than  a  stream, 


came  the  high  mountains.  Far  up  in  a  vale  of 
them  is  a  cataract.  And  beyond  the  fall  a  great 
valley  set  among  cliffs.  That  is  the  true  El 
Dorado,  for  in  that  valley  is  the  greatest  and 
richest  city  of  earth.  The  folk  in  it  are  as  white 
as  we  of  England,  and  noble  in  stature  and 
countenance.  They  worship  the  one  God  in  a 
temple  whose  roof  is  solid  beaten  gold,  and  all 
the  streets  are  of  marble  and  red  jasper. 

Breathless,  we  asked  him  if  he  had  had  a 
glimpse  of  this  marvel. 

"  After  many  weary  wanderings,"  he  said,  "  I 
and  three  comrades  came  to  the  top  of  a  high 
mountain  and  saw  the  valley  afar  off.  We  were 
faint  with  fever  and  huneer,  and  the  si^ht  revived 

c."         7  C1 

our  hearts.  But  there  was  no  way  to  it  from 
that  mountain,  for  round  the  valley  is  a  girdle  of 
cliffs  which  only  a  bird  may  pass.  For  ten  days 
we  laboured  to  no  avail,  and  then  famine  drove 
us  back  to  the  plain.  One  man  of  us  would  not 
return,  but  what  befell  him,  whether  he  died  or 
attained  the  city,  I  know  not.  Long  after,  I 
heard  from  an  Indian  of  those  parts  that  there  is 
but  one  way  to  El  Dorado.  A  man  must  ascend 








the  river  and  find  the  track  to  climb  the  cataract. 
But  the  path  is  a  secret  kept  by  the  people  of 
the  City,  and  though  'tis  known  to  a  few  Indians 
of  the  plains  none  durst  reveal  it." 

The  tale  set  our  fancies  aflame,  and  Walter 
Raleigh  in  especial  could  sit  still  no  longer. 

"  We  will  make  a  band  among  us  to  enter 
the  Golden  City,"  he  cried,  and  we  four  assented, 
while  Noah  sat  laughing,  and  the  old  Frenchman 
looked  at  us  beneath  his  brows. 

"  'Tis  a  road  many  have  trod  and  none  have 
mastered,"  he  said. 

"  Ay,"  said  Walter,  "  but  we  will  tread  it  with 
a  single  heart  from  our  first  manhood.  Though 
we  win  to  it  with  bent  backs  and  silvered  hair, 
yet  win  to  it  we  shall." 

The  Frenchman  smiled. 

"  And  when  you  win  to  it,  what  will  you  do  ? ' 
he  asked. 

"  Then,"  said  Walter,  taking  off  his  hat  and 
bowing  low,  "  I  will  give  our  gracious  lady,  the 
Queen  of  England,  a  better  Indies  than  ever  the 
King  of  Spain  hath." 

That  was  the   first   time    I   heard    the  saying 

(1,562)  3 


which  later  was  often  on  my  comrade's  lips,  and 
indeed  was  the  maxim  of  his  life. 

Master  Laurens  approved.  He  nodded  gravely. 
"  I  think  there  is  that  in  your  brow,  lad,  and  in 
your  eyes  which  spells  fortune.  It  may  be  good 
or  ill,  but  'twill  be  a  high  fortune.  I  think  you 
will  win  to  the  Indies  and  make  much  ado  there  ; 
and  if  you  do  not  win  to  El  Dorado,  you  will  seek 
it  all  your  days  and  leave  the  quest  only  at  death." 

Then  he  took  from  his  pouch  a  little  gold 
trinket  such  as  a  man  may  wear  at  his  collar. 

"  You  are  of  the  breed  I  love,  dear  lad,  and  I 
will  give  you  a  charm  to  wear  against  ills  to 
come.  Mayhap  'twill  bring  you  to  your 
Promised  Land,  for  'tis  from  the  tomb  of  a 
great  King  of  the  Indians  who  died  long  ago. 
It  never  brought  me  good  luck,  but  it  brought 
me  joy  in  the  quest,  and  I  think  that  is  the  best 
fortune  for  a  man.  I  cannot  read  the  stars  for  you, 
but  I  can  foretell  one  part  of  your  fate.  You  will 
get  great  joy  and  great  sorrow  out  of  life,  but 
you  will  never  lose  the  savour  and  zest  of  it." 

There  was  that  in  the  air  and  the  occasion 
which  held  us  silent.  Walter  Raleigh  took  the 


jewel,  blushing  boy-like  a  little,  and  stammering 
his  thanks. 

"  Master,  I  will  wear  your  gift  all  my  days, 
but  I  would  fain  know  the  name  of  the  giver." 

The  Frenchman  smiled. 

"  If  any  man  asks  you  that  question  in  these 
parts,  say  the  jewel  came  from  Pierre  Laurens  of 
Le  Havre,  a  merchant  of  silks  and  cloths,  and 
owner  of  the  barque  Saint  Esprit.  But  if  any 
ask  it  you  on  the  High  Seas,  or  west  of  the 
Azores,  or  in  the  Isles,  or  on  the  Main,  say  that 
the  giver  was  the  Luterano." 

Chapter  II. 

"  We  are  those  fools  who  could  not  rest 

In  the  dull  earth  we  left  behind, 
But  burned  with  passion  for  the  West, 

And  drank  a  frenzy  from  its  wind  ; 
The  world  where  small  men  live  at  ease 

Fades  from  our  unregretful  eyes, 
And  blind  across  uncharted  seas 
We  stagger  on  our  enterprise." 

-  The  Ship  of  Fools. 

Chapter  II. 

THE    ROAD    OF    THE    SUNSET.* 


.  .  .  ^HE  country  I  travelled  was  as  wild  as 
the  nether  limits  of  Muscovy.  From 
the  ill-marked  track  ran  wastes  of  bog  and  stone, 
with  shining  pools  of  water  scattered  among 
them,  and  at  intervals  a  roaring  stream,  brown  as 
October  ale.  No  human  habitation  appeared, 
though  here  and  there  was  a  charred  patch  of 
ground  where  may  have  stood  one  of  the  huts 
which  my  lord  Grey  had  burned  in  his  war  with 
the  Geraldines.  Low  hills,  shaggy  with  dwarf 
trees,  skirted  the  road  at  a  distance  of  a  mile  or 
two,  and  held  the  morasses,  as  it  were,  in  a  cup. 
I  had  noted  that  for  the  last  hour  the  little 
streams  had  taken  the  same  direction  as  the 

f  Written  down  by  Gervase  Luttrell,  soldier  of  fortune,  during  a  convalescence 
after  wounds  received  in  the  Low  Countries.  The  manuscript  was  given  by 
him  to  a  fellow-campaigner,  Neill  Macintyre  of  Glenbreac,  in  Argyll,  among 
whose  family  papers  it  may  still  be  read. 


track,  so  I  looked  presently  to  reach  a  river  of 
some  magnitude.  Sure  enough,  as  I  came  over 
a  ridge  I  perceived  a  broad  glen  below  me  filled 
with  a  wood  of  oaks  and  hollies,  and  from  some- 
where in  the  thicket  came  the  roar  of  swollen 

That  morn  I  had  set  out  from  the  town  of 
Youghal  to  seek  my  Captain.  A  month  before  I 
had  been  appointed  lieutenant  to  Captain  Raleigh's 
foot-band,  at  the  noble  wage  of  two  shillings  a 
day.  I  had  come  hungry  from  the  wars  in  the 
Low  Countries,  where  under  Sir  John  Norn's  I 
had  for  long  been  maintaining  the  cause  of  the 
Reformed  religion  and  His  Highness  of  Orange. 
The  chance  of  Irish  service  offered  me  through 
the  graces  of  my  cousin  at  Court,  my  lady 
Dawtrey,  was  not  to  be  scoffed  at  by  a  poor 
soldier.  I  had  heard  of  the  country  as  an 
excellent  school  of  arms,  where  a  man  might  win 
skill  in  his  trade,  albeit  there  was  small  hope  of 
winning  riches.  Furthermore,  I  had  a  notion  to 
serve  under  Captain  Raleigh,  the  fame  of  whom 
was  beginning  to  reach  the  ears  even  of  us  lean 
waiters  upon  Fortune.  He  was  but  a  year  or  two 

THE    ROAD    OF  THE   SUNSET.     39 

my  elder,  and  already  had  fought  campaigns  in 
France  and  Flanders  ;  and  had  lately  captained 
a  ship  with  Humphrey  Gilbert  to  fight  the 
Spaniard.  The  news  of  his  Irish  doings  had  set 
the  town  ringing.  For  if  Drury  and  Malby  and 
my  lord  Grey  had  chastised  the  rebels  with  whips, 
this  Raleigh  had  a  taste  for  scorpions.  The  tale 
of  the  slaughter  at  Smerwick  was  so  fierce  that 
many  of  the  stoutest — 'twas  said  even  the  Queen 
herself — thought  the  thing  barbarously  done. 
For  myself,  I  love  a  fierce  man  who  wars  with  his 
whole  heart,  and  'twas  this  whim  of  mine,  as 
likewise  my  poverty,  which  had  set  me  spurring 
this  May  morning  to  join  my  Captain. 

I  had  scarce  entered  the  shade  of  the  oaks, 
when  a  man,  running  blindly  down  the  steep,  all 
but  charged  into  my  stirrups.  He  started  back 
and  would  have  fled,  but  I  laid  hold  on  his  long 
hair  and  held  it  firm.  He  was  a  lath  of  a  man, 
with  famine  burning  in  his  eye-sockets,  and  in 
my  hands  was  no  stronger  than  a  straw. 

"  Where  away  so  hastily,  my  lad  ? '  I  said. 
But  the  creature  shook  his  head  ;  he  knew  not 
the  English  tongue. 


Then  I  gripped  him  by  his  ear. 
"  If   this   is   treason,"   says   I,  "  you  will    pay 
dear  for   it.      Has   Captain    Raleigh   passed  this 
way  ? ' 

The  name  was  familiar,  for  he  nodded  his  head. 
"  Rol-lee,  Rol-lee,"  he  repeated,  and  pointed  down 
the  road. 

"  Good,"  says  I  ;  "  then  here's  a  girdle-cake 
for  your  news."  I  tossed  him  food  from  my 
wallet,  and  left  him  squatted  in  the  track,  tearing 
it  like  a  famished  wolf. 

Presently  I  saw  ahead  of  me  in  the  oak  glade 
a  little  company  of  horsemen,  and  hailed  them. 
They  stopped  as  one  man  and  wheeled,  and  the 
leader  of  them  rode  forward  to  greet  me.  This 
was  the  first  time  I  had  clapped  eyes  upon  the 
great  Walter  Raleigh,  destined  ere  long  to  be  the 
most  shining  figure  in  Europe.  He  was  a  stalwart 
man,  with  a  very  proud  carriage  of  the  head, 
and  a  cheek  browned  by  moorland  wars.  Save 
for  his  eyes,  there  was  nothing  to  mark  him  out 
from  other  Captains  of  birth  and  mettle.  But 
those  eyes — I  see  yet  the  strange  glint  of  them, 
as  they  looked  into  the  heart  of  a  man.  I  have 

THE    ROAD    OF   THE    SUNSET.     41 

never  seen  eyes  so  fearless  and  so  keen.  They 
were  merry,  too,  as  if,  looking  through  one,  he 
saw  a  pleasant  landscape  beyond.  There  was  fire 
in  them,  the  silent  fire  which  glows  in  the  white 
heart  of  the  furnace  and  never  sputters  into  flame. 
But  above  all  there  was  pride,  the  pride  which  is 
so  masterful  that  it  asks  for  no  recognition,  which 
would  condescend  on  kings  and  emperors,  yea, 
on  all  things  save  Almighty  God.  In  a  flash 
I  think  I  had  the  nature  of  the  man,  and  his 
history  has  not  proved  me  false.  For  this  Cap- 
tain was  of  so  great  a  soul  that  he  must  look 
over  the  heads  of  other  men  and  do  his  work 
stooping.  Judge  if  a  task  be  best  done  with  a 
bowed  back. 

I  think  I  hated  him  as  his  eyes  ran  me  through. 
He  asked  me  my  name  and  warrant,  nodding 
carelessly  to  my  answer.  Then  he  bade  his  men 
drop  a  bow-shot  behind,  while  he  and  I  rode 
ahead,  and  a  frieze-clad  kern  trotted  with  us  to 
show  the  way. 

"  A  grim  land,"  he  said,  looking  round  him. 
"  Did  you  see  aught  of  beast  or  man  on  your 
way  from  Youghal  ? ' 


I  told  him  of  the  creature  whose  ear  I  had 
held  at  the  edge  of  the  oak-wood.  He  narrowed 
his  eyes  till  they  were  like  nuts  seen  through  half- 
open  shells — a  way  he  always  had  when  he 

"  I  was  warned  of  trouble,"  he  said  to  himself. 
"  Besides,  the  land  was  more  than  usual  empty  ; 
'twas  like  a  graveyard.  Do  you  think  the  fellow 
carried  a  message  ?  "  he  asked. 

"  If  he  did,  he  could  not  carry  it  far,"  I 
answered.  "  He  carried  too  little  flesh  on  his 
bones.  The  thing  was  as  frail  as  a  new-born 

I  had  heard  of  my  Captain  as  very  little  com- 
passionate. But  now  his  face  softened  till,  but 
for  his  beard,  it  might  have  been  a  handsome 

"  Ay,  that  is  the  curse  on't.  The  innocent 
poor  folk  are  starving.  You  will  see  them  lie 
dead  on  the  moss  with  half-chewed  herbs  in 
their  teeth.  And  all  the  while  the  vermin  of 
Rome  grow  fat,  priests  and  Spaniards  are  in 
every  hold,  and  the  native  lords  are  harsher 
oppressors  than  ever  we  English  were.  God 

THE    ROAD    OF   THE    SUNSET.     43 

knows  I  have  never  lifted  my  hand  on  one  of 
the  poor  Irish,  but  God  forget  me  if  I  spare 
and  smite  not  the  leeches  that  prey  upon  their 

By  this  time  we  were  at  the  crest  of  a  little 
hill  in  the  forest,  and  saw  below  us  the  track 
running  to  a  ford.  'Twas  the  river  I  had  guessed 
the  presence  of,  a  swollen  and  angry  current, 
with  wood  and  thatch  bobbing  in  its  eddies. 
Around  the  ford  was  a  close  thicket  of  young 

"  We  must  swim,  sir,"  I  said  ;  "  and  if  you 
have  any  foes  in  the  countryside,  it  is  by  that 
ford  you  must  look  for  them." 

"  True,  Mr.  Luttrell,"  he  answered,  a  little 
smile  playing  round  his  mouth.  "  'Tis  a  fine 
tryst  for  my  ill-wishers.  The  scarecrow  you  met 
would  be  taking  the  tidings.  There  is  a  certain 
Fitz-Edmunds,  whom  they  call  in  these  parts  the 
Seneschal  of  Imokelly.  Haply  he  is  down  among 
the  hazels.  But  I  grieve  to  tell  you  that  he  is  a 
cowardly  knave,  and  would  not  come  out  to  fight 
me  with  fewer  than  four  hundred  foot  and  horse. 
Now  I  do  not  think  such  a  force  could  be  levied 


within  a  hundred  miles,  so  I  fear  we  shall  not 
meet  the  Seneschal." 

"  Were  it  not  wise  to  wait  for  your  troop, 
sir  ?  "  I  ventured. 

"  Troop  ? "  he  cried.  "  Nay,  lad,  let's  draw  the 
coverts  ourselves,  and  see  if  we  can  start  an 
old  fox." 

His  eyes  suddenly  grew  light  and  wild  as  a 
boy's.  He  spurred  his  horse  and  galloped 
furiously  down  the  track  to  the  water,  while 
I  followed  as  best  I  could,  leaving  guide  and 
troop  to  come  on  at  their  pleasure.  We  slithered 
among  oak-roots  and  rasped  through  bramble 
thickets  ;  my  face  was  slashed  by  errant  boughs, 
and  many  times  I  had  like  to  have  been  on  my 
nose.  It  seemed  like  a  second's  time  from  the 
brow  of  the  hill  till  the  first  wash  of  the  stream 
took  my  horse's  pasterns. 

That  mad  race  was  our  salvation.  There  were 
watchers  by  the  ford,  but  we  were  on  them  ere 
they  looked  for  us.  We  were  stemming  the 
water  before  they  could  close  in,  and  happily 
they  had  small  store  of  arquebuses.  Some  half- 
dozen  got  before  the  Captain,  and  I  saw  his 

THE    ROAD    OF    THE    SUNSET.    45 

sword  flash  and  the  water  redden.  But  I  had 
little  leisure  to  watch  him,  for,  being  second 
in  the  race,  I  received  the  larger  part  of  the 
freebooters'  notice.  They  clung  to  my  saddle, 
and  reached  long  arms  for  my  bridle  and  the 
joints  of  my  corselet.  These  were  no  kerns  who 
assailed  me,  but  foreign  fellows  with  the  dark 
cheek  of  Spain  and  Italy,  the  same  as  Alva  had 
led  to  the  pillage  of  the  Hollanders.  There  was 
also  one  man,  wearing  a  saffron  jerkin  over  a 
cuirass,  who  sat  his  horse  in  the  current  and 
issued  orders.  I  supposed  him  the  Seneschal, 
and  being  very  wroth  I  fired  on  him  with  my 
pistol.  But  the  swaying  and  confusion  gave  me 
a  poor  aim,  and  the  delay  gave  my  assailants  a 
chance,  so  that  I  had  almost  ended  my  Irish 
wars  at  the  start  of  them. 

I  was  torn  from  the  saddle  and  dragged  under 
the  turbid  stream,  swallowing  great  draughts  of 
water  and  mud.  Choking  and  blinded,  I  found 
my  feet  at  last  and  got  my  head  above  the 
current.  But  then  I  was  in  no  better  case.  The 
river  ran  near  my  armpits,  and  that  and  the  crush 
of  men  gave  me  no  liberty  to  use  my  sword. 


'Twas  all  a  mad  mellay  of  claw  and  tooth,  a  game 
which  two  dozen  of  the  scum  of  Seville  will  play 
better  than  a  lonely  gentleman.  Meantime  I 
was  aware  of  Captain  Raleigh  shaking  himself 
on  the  farther  bank,  and  bellowing  for  his  troop 
to  hasten.  He  seemed  to  have  forgotten  my 
case,  so  I  minded  him  of  it  by  a  cry  for  succour. 
The  next  second  he  had  taken  the  flood  again 
like  a  man  possessed. 

I  heard  (there  were  three  trying  to  pull  me 
down)  a  head  crack  like  a  nut,  and  a  sob  or  two 
as  men  choked  in  the  stream.  Then  a  hand 
clutched  my  collar  and  dragged  me  over  a  horse's 
hindquarters.  "  Hold  by  my  middle,"  said  a 
voice,  "  till  we  find  deep  water." 

I  did  as  I  was  bid,  and  but  for  a  pike  wound  in 
my  left  thigh  I  came  scatheless  over  the  stream, 
and  found  that  my  horse  had  already  swum  to 
shore.  As  I  crawled  into  the  saddle  again  I  saw 
my  Captain,  pistol  in  hand,  shouting  taunts  to 
the  Irishry  who  still  swarmed  in  the  water. 
Then  came  a  yell  of  dismay,  and  the  insurgents 
scattered  everywhither,  while  our  troop,  whom 
they  took  to  be  the  vanguard  of  an  army,  clattered 

THE    ROAD    OF    THE    SUNSET.     47 

down  the  hill.  At  this  the  Captain  changed  his 
shouts  into  a  roar  of  laughter. 

"  Saw  you  ever  such  a  man  ? '  he  cried. 
"  There  lives  not  the  like  of  the  Seneschal  of 
Imokelly.  He  has  no  more  than  twenty  men  to 
our  one,  and  lo  !  he  is  running  like  a  hare. 
I  owe  him  somewhat  for  the  scratch  on  your 
leg,  Mr.  Luttrell.  Rest  assured  I  will  pay  it. 
He  will  yet  swing  beside  his  yellow -faced 
Walloons,  for  such  a  cur  deserves  no  gentleman's 

After  this  spirited  encounter  we  rode  on  to  the 
city  of  Cork,  where  Captain  Raleigh  was  closeted 
with  my  lord  Grey  of  Wilton,  while  I  sat  in  the 
common  room  of  the  Castle,  with  a  bandaged  leg, 
finding  much  entertainment  from  the  converse  of 
the  officers  of  the  Lord  Deputy.  Their  chief  tales 
were  of  this  Captain  of  mine,  about  whom  I  was 
still  in  a  divided  humour.  He  had  saved  my 
life,  'twas  true,  but  his  courtesy  was  as  a  bone 
cast  to  a  dog,  a  thing  on  which  he  seemed  to  set 
small  value.  There  was  ever  in  his  eye  that 
look  of  seeing  me  as  smaller  than  God  made  me 
and  I  deemed  myself.  And  yet  at  other  times 


there  flowed  from  him  a  merriment  and  a  good 
fellowship  which  drew  me  to  the  man  as  he  were 
my  own  brother. 

In  five  days'  time  I  was  bidden  attend  my 
Captain  on  a  journey  to  the  West.  We  took 
fifty  men  of  our  foot-band,  for  'twas  a  mission 
of  espionage  and  enquiry,  in  which  we  might 
fight  or  treat  according  to  the  humour  of  the 
rebels.  Never  have  I  seen  a  more  sad  and  miry 
land.  Two  days  we  rode  up  the  vale  of  a  marshy 
stream,  avoiding  the  morasses  by  endangering  our 
necks  on  a  rocky  hillside.  'Twas  the  forefront 
of  Spring,  when  in  my  native  shire  of  Somerset 
the  meads  are  bright  with  cuckoo-buds  and  cow- 
slips, and  every  coppice  is  sweet  with  violets. 
But  here  there  was  nothing  but  a  brown  desert, 
where  nesting  moor-birds  wailed  dismally  like  the 
spirits  of  the  lost.  There  were  few  inhabitants, 
and  the  huts  of  such  as  we  saw  were  worse  than 
an  English  sty.  Now  and  then  we  would 
reach  a  fortalice,  and  some  Irish  lord  would 
descend  to  greet  us,  with  as  like  as  not  a  dozen 
of  our  own  soldiery  quartered  on  him  to  devour 
his  substance.  I  liked  little  the  shifty  wild  eyes 

THE    ROAD    OF   THE    SUNSET.     49 

of  those  Irish  ;  and  as  for  their  speech  it  was  hid 
from  me,  for  when  they  spoke  our  tongue  'twas 
with  a  mad  roundabout  twist  in  it.  All  the 
while  the  Captain  would  ride  at  the  head  of  us, 
I  at  his  side,  and  his  mind  very  far  from  those 
weary  deserts.  Sometimes  he  would  hum  little 
snatches  of  song,  and  at  other  times  he  would  be 
sunk  in  a  contemplation  from  which  I  did  not 
dare  to  summon  him.  As  wayside  company  I 
have  seen  his  better,  but  my  liking  for  him 
advanced  during  those  silent  stages.  There  was 
in  his  air  something  secret  and  potent  and 
masterful,  and  I  resolved  that  if  he  were  not 
a  man  to  love  he  was  assuredly  a  man  to  follow. 
On  the  third  day  from  Cork  we  came  over 
a  high  ridge  of  mountain,  and  descended  into  a 
very  lovely  vale,  which  ran  out  to  the  Western 
Ocean.  Here  at  length  were  we  privileged  to 
meet  the  Spring,  for  the  fields  and  bushes  were 
green  and  quickening,  and  every  thicket  was  a 
cage  of  singing  birds.  At  the  foot  we  came  to  a 
narrow  bay  of  salt  water,  which  the  Irish  name  a 
"  lough,"  and  riding  by  its  side  reached  the  castle 
of  Kilmorice.  The  sentinel  who  challenged  us 

(1,662)  4 


told  us  that  the  land  was  quiet,  and  that  Sir 
Thomas  Astley  had  gone  west  to  treat  with 
the  Chiefs  of  Desmond. 

Indoors  we  found  but  one  officer  of  the  guard, 
the  others  having  gone  west  with  Sir  Thomas. 
But  in  the  great  stone  hall  was  seated  a  slim 
young  man,  who  at  the  sight  of  us  cried  out  and 
ran  forward.  I  have  rarely  seen  a  face  so 
transfigured  as  was  my  Captain's.  The  high  and 
half-scornful  demeanour  vanished  like  ice  in  thaw. 
He  clasped  the  young  man  in  his  arms  and  kissed 
him  on  both  cheeks.  "  The  sight  of  thee,  old 
friend,"  he  cried,  "  were  worth  a  century  of 
Irish  journeys  ! ' 

The  young  man,  I  heard,  was  Master  Edmund 
Spenser,  a  clerk  of  Cambridge,  and  chief  secretary 
to  my  lord  Grey  of  Wilton.  He  had  a  pale  face 
and  great  brown  eyes,  which,  in  contrast  with 
the  alert  gaze  of  a  soldier,  seemed  drowsy  and 
dreamy.  He  was  most  courteous  in  his  conduct, 
offering  us  all  manner  of  refreshment,  and  hold- 
ing my  Captain's  hand  as  if  he  feared  to  lose  him. 
Now  I  had  been  but  a  week  in  Captain  Raleigh's 
service,  but  such  was  his  power  that  his  manifest 

THE    ROAD   OF   THE    SUNSET.     51 

love  of  Master  Spenser  provoked  me  to  an 
extreme  jealousy.  I  would  have  given  my  soul 
to  have  had  my  Captain's  face  glow  thus  at  the 
sight  of  me. 

As  we  sat  in  the  hall  after  meat,  with  the 
rumour  of  the  sea  around  us,  Master  Spenser  fell 
into  a  doleful  mood.  He  lamented  the  sorrows 
of  the  Irish  land,  and  the  sad  barbarities  of  war. 
Likewise  he  reproached  his  friend  for  his  violence. 
The  sack  of  Smerwick,  of  which  he  had  been 
witness,  still  burned  in  his  brain.  "  'Twas  not 
war,  Walter,"  he  cried ;  "  'twas  a  naked  shambles. 
What  profits  our  knightlihood  if  at  the  touch 
of  wrath  we  become  ravening  beasts  ? ' 

My  Captain  replied  very  gently :  "  Nay, 
Edmund,  I  have  no  shame  of  Smerwick  in  my 
soul.  Death,  violent  death,  is  always  a  harsh 
sight ;  but  if  there  be  justice  in  it,  it  may  take 
on  the  fairness  of  duty  done.  When  I  think  of 
Smerwick  I  think  of  the  bloodier  shambles  to 
which  the  men  who  died  there  had  aforetime 
condemned  the  innocent." 

"  But  they  died  unarmed  and  in  cold  blood," 
said  Master  Spenser. 


"  So  does  the  murderer  on  the  gallows.  And 
murderers  and  gallows-birds  they  were,  every 
man  of  them.  I  blame  my  lord  Grey  for  one 
thing  only.  He  held  the  officers  to  ransom  in- 
stead of  sending  them  the  way  of  their  men. 
Mind  you,  they  held  no  commission.  They 
came  out  of  the  Pope's  prisons  and  the  darkest 
holes  of  Spain  to  make  war  without  cause  in 
this  wretched  land.  That  foul  priest,  Nicholas 
Saunders,  was  their  fugleman  ;  and  their  leaders 
were  miscreants  whom  Europe  had  long  ago  cast 
forth.  What  treatment,  think  you,  did  they 
mete  out  to  the  English  ships  they  took — ships 
out  of  my  own  Devon  ?  What  pity  had  they 
on  the  prisoners  at  Dingle  ?  Have  you  heard 
how  they  used  Youghal  when  they  took  the 
town,  and  slit  every  child's  nose,  and  gouged  out 
women's  eyes,  and  slew  every  male  thing  ?  There 
is  a  long  tally  to  count,  and  that  morn  at  Smer- 
wick  went  but  a  little  way  to  the  reckoning. 
When  the  Pope's  vermin  creep  out  of  their  dark 
haunts  there  is  but  one  way  to  serve  them.  Let 
God's  good  light  into  their  souls,  though  it  be 
by  steel  and  bullet." 

THE    ROAD    OF   THE    SUNSET.     53 

Captain  Raleigh's  face  had  turned  grim  as 
death,  and  Master  Spenser  seemed  to  shrink  from 
him.  He  saw  the  movement,  and,  stretching 
his  arm,  clasped  his  friend's  hand. 

"  You  think  me  a  fiery  Protestant,  Ned  ?  But 
indeed  I  have  cause  and  good  reason.  Did  I  not 
watch  all  through  the  night  of  Saint  Bartholo- 
mew, when  Queen  Catherine  and  her  Guises 
slaughtered  those  of  the  Reformed  faith  ?  That 
night  I  saw  the  gutters  of  Paris  run  with  the 
noblest  blood  of  France.  I  saw  priests  swollen 
with  the  lusts  of  hell  urging  on  the  spawn  of 
the  kennels  to  their  accursed  work,  and  crying 
the  meek  name  of  Christ  as  their  warrant.  I 
saw  the  shadow  of  an  uplifted  Cross  lie  athwart 
those  scenes  of  death.  And  I  swore  by  the 
living  God  that  I,  Walter  Raleigh,  should  do 
what  in  me  lay  to  root  out  of  the  earth  this  evil 
thing  called  Rome.  The  Pope  is  my  foe,  and 
after  him  his  son  of  Spain,  and  till  my  right  arm 
wither  I  shall  strike  at  the  cruel  mummery  of 
Rome  and  the  blind  tyranny  of  the  Spaniard." 

Master  Spenser  shook  his  head.  "  You  have 
the  fury  in  your  bones,"  he  said.  "  I  mind  when 


first  I  knew  you,  you  told  a  tale  of  your  mother's 
about  a  woman  who  suffered  for  her  faith  at 
Exeter  Castle  in  Queen  Mary's  days,  and  you 
could  scarce  speak  for  tears.  But,  Walter,  I 
would  not  reprove  you  for  your  religion.  Heaven 
be  my  witness,  that  I  love  a  man  who  will 
strike  for  his  faith.  But  if  you  war  against  hor- 
rid cruelty  and  arrogance,  I  would  have  you 
war  with  a  Christian  reasonableness,  not  forget- 
ting the  ensample  of  the  great  Captain  of  our 

I  had  seen  my  master  in  many  moods,  but 
now  I  saw  him  in  the  strangest  of  all.  There 
came  into  his  face  a  gravity  and  a  weight  of 
reflection,  the  extreme  opposite  of  his  usual 
pride  or  his  boyish  merriment.  'Twas  the 
face  of  one  who  thinks  high  thoughts  and  sees 
far  horizons. 

"I  would  remember,"  he  said,  "our  great 
Ensample  ;  but  I  conceive  that  if  our  Master  be 
the  Prince  of  Peace,  He  is  no  less  the  God  of 
Battles.  We  of  England,  as  I  read  the  times, 
stand  at  the  turn  of  our  destiny.  There  is  about 
us  a  black  old  world  of  ignorance  and  terror, 

THE    ROAD    OF   THE    SUNSET.     55 

where  men's  souls  are  enslaved  to  priests  and 
their  bodies  to  tyrants.  We  English  stand  for 
freedom  and  God's  sunlight,  and  there  can  be 
no  truce  between  us  and  the  enemy.  I  take  my 
motto  from  Holy  Scripture :  c  We  wrestle  not 
against  flesh  and  blood,  but  against  principalities, 
against  powers,  against  the  rulers  of  the  darkness 
of  this  world  ' !  " 

But  Master  Spenser  still  shook  his  head  in 

"  Nay,  lad,"  said  Raleigh,  "  I  do  not  ask  you 
to  follow  me.  You  are  a  poet,  who  sees  a  rosy 
world  of  his  own  creating,  and  by  his  skill  makes 
of  this  drab  earth  in  time  something  akin  to  his 
fancy.  I  am  the  plain  man,  who  must  dig  and 
delve  and  make  crooked  things  straight.  In  the 
end,"  he  said,  laughing  in  his  subtle  way,  "  we 
may  reach  the  same  goal,  and  by  God's  grace 
I  may  win  some  of  the  happiness  of  the  poet." 

That  day,  as  it  chanced,  was  the  last  I  was 
to  spend  at  ease  for  many  months,  since  next 
morn  we  were  summoned  northward  to  the  wars. 
Of  my  wounds  and  captivity  I  shall  tell  later, 
as  also  of  my  Captain's  notable  gallantry  and 


excellent  generalship.  But  on  this  afternoon  I 
had,  I  think,  a  clearer  sight  of  his  great  heart 
than  I  was  ever  to  get  thereafter.  I  had  begun 
with  hate,  and  hitherto  I  had  swayed  between 
admiration  and  dislike.  I  had  seen  him  as  a 
mad  boy,  as  a  proud  courtier,  and  as  a  sage  states- 
man. Now  I  was  to  see  him  as  a  friend,  and 
there  was  nothing  under  the  vault  of  heaven 
more  entrancing  than  the  friendship  of  Walter 

It  had  rained  at  midday,  but  in  the  evening  the 
sky  cleared,  and  my  Captain  bade  me  accompany 
him  abroad  to  take  the  air,  while  Master  Spenser 
sat  indoors  at  his  despatches.  We  ascended  a 
rough  hillside  to  a  kind  of  table-land,  and  walked 
westward  to  where  a  great  cliff  broke  down  to 
the  sea.  'Twas  a  bright  evening,  with  fresh, 
clear  airs  blowing,  and  the  whole  sky  ablaze  with 
gold  and  crimson.  He  linked  his  arm  in  mine 
as  we  walked  on  the  turf,  with  the  sunset  in  our 
eyes,  and  he  discoursed  to  me  of  my  youth  and 
my  fortunes. 

There  are  hours  which  are  landmarks  in  a 
man's  course,  and  which,  in  the  retrospect,  stand 

THE    ROAD    OF    THE    SUNSET.     57 

out  like  shining  hilltops  above  the  desert  of  his 
common  occupations.  Such  was  this  hour  to 
me ;  for  it  gave  me  the  friendship  of  the  greatest 
man  I  ever  knew,  and  likewise  a  new  purpose 
in  life.  Captain  Raleigh  talked  little,  but  there 
flowed  from  the  man  that  influence  which  is 
more  persuasive  than  any  words.  The  mere  grasp 
of  his  arm  was  a  power  to  convert  a  multitude. 

By  and  by  we  stood  on  the  sea-cliff,  looking 
over  a  golden  sea,  with  a  dying  sun  making 
a  path  of  crimson  across  the  waters. 

"  I  spoke  of  warring  with  Spain,"  said  he, 
"  but  'tis  not  in  Europe  that  we  will  vanquish 
her.  Graft  this  on  your  mind,  Gervase,  lad: 
the  battlefront  of  our  faith  is  gone  from  the 
Old  World." 

I  am  dull  of  understanding,  and  asked 
"  Whither  ? " 

"  To  the  New  World,"  he  said.  "  The  wars 
to  come  will  be  fought  in  the  West.  It  is  there 
that  we  of  England  can  wreck  King  Philip  and 
checkmate  the  Pope.  Man,  man,  can  you  not 
see  ?  We  must  have  an  Indies  of  our  own  :  a 
New  World  to  set  against  theirs.  We  must 


have  wealth  like  Spain's,  and  a  land  to  try  the 
mettle  of  our  youth.  Give  me  that,  and  Europe 
is  less  to  me  than  a  pinch  of  dust." 

He  walked  a  few  paces  by  himself  to  the 
extreme  edge  of  the  cliffs,  and  I  waited  behind, 
perceiving  that  he  desired  solitude.  There  he 
stood  for  maybe  half  an  hour,  watching  the  sun 
sink  lower  in  the  great  ocean.  There  was  a 
golden  light  on  his  hair  and  beard,  and  his  figure 
on  that  headland  was  like  some  god  of  old 
romance.  Then  he  turned  to  me,  and  in  the 
twilight  I  could  see  that  his  eyes  were  once  again 
light  and  wild,  like  a  boy's. 

"  We  are  fools,  Gervase,  fools ! '  he  cried. 
"  Why  do  we  abide  in  this  dull  land,  making  war 
on  peasants,  when  there  is  the  sea,  the  sea  ?  We 
are  no  landsmen,  we  English.  We  fight  best  on 
the  water.  ...  I  have  tried  both  warfares,  and 
give  me  the  salt  air  and  the  bellying  of  full  sails, 
and  the  crash  of  timber  and  the  clink  of  clean 
steel !  A  plague  on  a  soldier's  duties !  If 
Brother  Humphrey  and  his  tall  ships  were  in 
the  bay  there,  I  think  I  would  cast  duty  to 
the  winds.  Get  the  West  into  your  heart 

THE    ROAD    OF    THE    SUNSET.     59 

and  blood,  lad.  'Tis  the  goal  of  all  English 

Then  he  drew  his  sword,  and  statelily  saluted 
the  dying  sun. 

"  Addio?  he  cried.  "  Another  day  we  will 
follow  your  path,  old  friend." 

By  this  time  the  dusk  was  falling  grey.  His 
face  had  grown  stern  again,  as  he  turned  to  take 
my  arm. 

"  Let  us  return  for  a  little  longer  to  our  moor- 
land wars,"  he  said. 

Chapter  III. 

"  To  the  heart  of  youth  the  world  is  a  highwayside. 
Passing  for  ever,  he  fares  ;  and  on  either  hand, 
Deep  in  the  gardens  golden  pavilions  hide, 
Nestle  in  orchard  bloom,  and  far  on  the  level  land 
Call  him  with  lighted  lamp  in  the  eventide." 

— R.   L.   STEVENSON. 





.--,   W^\^ 

r:-:':®::^SS^  v"  I    "s.-  Si 

;<  -^•'--•-j- i  ~'~  •?  gu^i^jLa^r^o^^^;^^!^* 

M  %  ^€  •• 

St  'V  ;   -^-Kl    •  -a-**?W  t   -If; 

^s'i?  ^Pv^c^^S^I 

=  l»*Kll 

Chapter  III. 

.  .  .  J7DMUND  SPENSER,  my  friend  and 
master,  has  made  a  sweet  tale  of  those 
whom  he  calls  Belphoebe  and  Timias,  by  which 
names  he  signifies  the  Queen's  excellent  majesty 
and  her  knight,  Walter  Raleigh.  The  tale  I  now 
tell  concerns  both  high  personages  at  a  great 
moment.  Its  stage  is  a  greensward  and  a  palace  ; 
the  other  players  are  the  maids  and  gentlemen  of 
Belphoebe's  court  ;  and  the  scenes  are  moved  by 
the  Loves  and  Destinies. 

On  Midsummer  Day  of  the  year  1587  the 
Court  lay  at  Ashridge,  the  great  house  by  Berk- 
hampstead,  in  the  shire  of  Hertford.  Thither  I 
came  in  the  train  of  my  lord  Burghley,  for  he 

*  From  the  papers  of  Sir  Gabriel  Bretton,  poet,  playwright,  and  Knight  of 
the  Shire  for  Sussex.  Sir  Gabriel  also  left  an  MS.  play  on  the  subject,  en- 
titled Gloriana,  or  The  Courtier  UnmasKd. 


needed  a  scholar  by  his  side,  being  himself  un- 
handy with  the  pen.  Her  Majesty  the  Queen 
Gloriana,  as  the  wits  named  her,  had  ridden  from 
Windsor,  and  was  busy  with  her  maids  in  the 
ordering  of  a  Midsummer  masque.  This  noble 
lady  had  aforetime  been  gracious  in  her  notice  of 
me,  and  the  last  summer,  in  her  progress  through 
my  own  shire  of  Sussex,  I  had  been  favoured 
to  lead  the  revels  with  her  at  Battle.  I  looked 
now  for  some  share  in  the  sunshine  of  her  regard, 
but  found  that  a  greater  had  forestalled  me.  For 
with  the  Court  was  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  whose 
light  had  dimmed  my  lord  Leicester's,  and  for 
the  moment  shone  brightest  in  the  sky  of  fashion. 
Some  years  before  he  had  returned  from  the  Irish 
wars,  and  had  been  given  great  lands  and  offices, 
so  that  his  state  far  outran  the  modesty  of  a 
private  gentleman.  There  was  none  so  high,  not 
even  my  lord  Burghley,  who  did  not  seek  his 
favour.  He  had  sent  forth  fleets  to  the  Indies, 
and  had  created  a  new  England  in  the  West, 
which  he  named  Virginia  in  his  mistress's  praise. 
Likewise  in  Ireland  he  played  the  part  of  mer- 
chant adventurer,  and  had  made  of  his  estates  an 


English  plantation.  I  liked  the  man  little,  but 
I  was  overborne  by  his  magnificence.  'Twas  not 
riches  or  power  alone,  but  poetry  and  learning 
that  he  sought.  He  was  the  friend  of  all 
scholars,  and  in  the  Mermaid  Tavern  in  Bread 
Street  held  symposia,  where  all  who  loved  the 
Muses  found  fair  fellowship.  To  his  lodgings  by 
the  river  in  the  palace  of  the  Lord  Bishop  of 
Durham  trooped  the  wits  of  England.  Once  and 
a-gain  I  had  been  privileged  to  join  them,  and 
found  sage  divines  side  by  side  with  playwrights, 
and  all  held  captive  by  their  host's  address.  Two 
years  before,  indeed,  I  had  supped  with  him,  and 
listened  till  cock-crow  while  he  discussed  divine 
philosophy  with  the  lamented  Sir  Philip  Sidney 
and  an  Italian,  by  name  Giordano  Bruno,  who 
was  little  admired  by  the  devout.  As  I  say,  I 
liked  him  not,  but  all  men  love  to  watch  the 
transit  of  a  bright  star.  So  I  watched  from  my 
humble  coign,  and  was  not  ashamed  to  find  my 
eyes  dazzle. 

My  little  masque — 'twas  a  thing  about  Flora 
and  the  Hours — was  graciously  accepted  by  the 
Queen,  who  said  'twould  do  as  well  as  another 


for  her  maids  to  show  their  pretty  ankles  in. 
But  as  I  walked  in  the  herb  garden  I  fell  in  with 
Sir  Walter,  whose  memory  held  my  face.  Said 
he,  "  Your  plaything  lacks  salt,  Sir  Gabriel.  'Tis 
dainty  as  a  madrigal,  but  sugar  cloys.  Your 
nymphs  are  but  silken  wenches,  and  no  daughters 
of  Themis  and  the  king  of  gods." 

His  manner  ruffled  me,  and  I  answered  that  a 
masque  was  in  essence  a  silken  thing.  "  Would 
you  have  me  set  a  dance  of  Amazons  ?  '  I 

"  Nay,  little  poet,"  he  said,  pinching  my  ear 
in  his  mocking  fashion.  "  But  a  thing  may  be 
fine  and  yet  hard  as  adamant.  The  slim  goddess 
may  wield  the  lightnings.  Regard  my  blade," 
he  says,  letting  his  sword  slip  half  out  of  its 
sheath.  "  It  bends  like  whipcord,  it  sings  like  a 
lute,  and  yet  'twill  split  a  skull  if  rightly  wielded. 
And  this  arm  of  mine  is  no  branch  of  oak,  but  I 
wager  'twould  keep  its  own  against  the  lustiest 
smith's.  There,  Sir  Gabriel,  I  give  you  a  theme 
for  a  sonnet.  You  may  call  it  '  Strength  not  in 
Bulk  but  in  Spirit,'  and  sing  it  to  an  Italian  air." 

We  strolled   past    the  sundial  and  out   of  the 


yew  portal,  while  I  fumed  with  wrath  at  the 
man's  presumption.  'Twas  the  truth  that  stung 
me ;  for  I  knew  in  my  heart  that  my  Hours  were 
but  silk  and  cambrick,  things  neither  divine  nor 
human.  Now  from  so  high  a  wit  as  Raleigh  I 
would  have  taken  reproof  gladly,  had  his  air  been 
otherwise.  But  he  treated  my  craft  as  it  had 
been  a  child's  whim.  The  next  moment,  indeed, 
he  had  forgotten  that  he  had  spoken,  and  was 
twitching  the  lilies'  heads  with  his  ivory  wand 
and  humming  a  little  tune.  I  looked  sideways 
at  him  as  we  walked,  and  marked  the  insolent 
grace  of  his  form  and  the  noble  poise  of  his  head. 
He  walked  with  the  freest  carriage  I  have  ever 
seen  in  man,  as  if  he  were  indeed  lord  of  life  and 
the  world  his  humble  minister. 

On  the  pleasaunce  we  found  Her  Majesty  with 
her  maids  and  a  dozen  gentlemen  of  the  Court, 
seated  in  a  green  spot  shaded  by  beeches.  The 
Queen  was  working  embroidery,  and  capping 
verses  with  young  Master  Trefusis,  who  lay  at 
her  feet.  As  we  neared,  she  cried  out  to  me 
and  bade  us  join  the  circle.  I  awaited  by  the 
edge  of  the  group,  but  Sir  Walter  sate  himself 



by  the  Queen's  side  next  to  a  tall  fair  maid,  Mis- 
tress Elizabeth  Throckmorton,  who  welcomed 
him  shyly  with  a  smile.  Gloriana  noted  the 
greeting,  and  frowned. 

"  We  speak  of  love,  my  Raleigh,"  she  said, 
with  an  acid  in  her  voice.  "  Here  are  we  all 
equipped  for  a  pastoral,  singing  like  shepherdesses 
of  the  Golden  Age.  Master  Trefusis  has  been  in- 
diting a  doleful  ballad  to  my  Bess's  eyebrows.  See 
if  you  can  better  it.  Speak  it,  Master  Trefusis." 

The  boy  blushed  hotly.  "  An  your  Majesty 
please,  'twas  not  my  own.  'Twas  a  song  of  Kit 
Marlowe's  that  he  called  '  The  Passionate  Shep- 
herd to  his  Love.'  If  it  be  your  will,  I  will 
repeat  it." 

He  declaimed  in  a  dulcet  voice  a  pretty  poem 
in  which  a  shepherd  bribes  his  lady  with  the  joys 
of  a  country  life.  The  maids  clapped  their  hands. 

"  Better  it,  Sir  Walter,"  said  the  Queen. 

"  Nay,  Madam,  give  me  a  minute's  grace,  and 
I  will  write  the  lady's  answer,"  he  said. 

He  plucked  forth  his  tablets  and  wrote  for  a 
little  while.  Gloriana's  hands  were  busy  with 
her  stitches. 


"  What  a  housewife  I  am  ! '  she  cried.  "  I 
have  not  wrought  so  hard  since  as  a  child,  in 
this  very  place,  I  made  baby  clothes  for  Mary, 
my  royal  sister.  Some  day  I  will  show  them  to 
you.  Delicate  work,  I  vow,  and  as  quaint  a  bribe 
as  sisterly  fear  ever  devised  for  sisterly  whimsies. 
Ay  de  mi!  The  gift  and  its  cause  alike  came  to 
little.  How  now,  Sir  Walter  ?  Is  your  response 
complete  ? ' 

Raleigh  lifted  his  head,  and  looking  now  at 
the  Queen  and  now  at  Mistress  Throckmorton, 
read  his  verses  : — 

"  If  all  the  world  and  love  were  young, 
And  truth  in  every  shepherd's  tongue, 
These  pretty  pleasures  might  me  move 
To  live  with  thee  and  be  thy  Love. 

But  Time  drives  flocks  from  field  to  fold ; 
When  rivers  rage  and  rocks  grow  cold ; 
And  Philomel  becometh  dumb  ; 
The  rest  complains  of  cares  to  come. 

The  flowers  do  fade,  and  wanton  fields 
To  wayward  Winter  reckoning  yields  : 
A  honey  tongue,  a  heart  of  gall, 
Is  fancy's  spring,  but  sorrow's  fall. 

Thy  gowns,  thy  shoes,  thy  beds  of  roses, 
Thy  cap,  thy  kirtle,  and  thy  posies, 


Soon  break,  soon  wither — soon  forgotten, 
In  folly  ripe,  in  reason  rotten. 

Thy  belt  of  straw  and  ivy  buds, 
Thy  coral  clasps  and  amber  studs, — 
All  these  in  me  no  means  can  move 
To  come  to  thee  and  be  thy  Love. 

But  could  youth  last,  and  love  still  breed, 
Had  joys  no  date,  nor  age  no  need, 
Then  these  delights  my  mind  might  move 
To  live  with  thee  and  be  thy  Love." 

They  were  delicate  verses,  as  far  beyond  the 
skill  of  us  common  bards  as  Sir  Walter's  magni- 
ficence was  beyond  our  modesty.  I  think,  if 
Apollo  had  given  me  so  great  a  gift,  I  would 
have  been  content  to  forswear  Courts  for  ever 
and  seek  a  hermitage. 

Gloriana  laughed  loud.  "  A  shrewd  retort, 
i'  faith  !  Our  Raleigh  is  but  a  laggard  lover. 
Had  he  been  a  maid,  there  would  have  been 
broken  hearts  among  the  men.  How  now, 
Bess  ?  '  she  said,  turning  to  Mistress  Throck- 
morton.  "  Does  Sir  Walter  interpret  aright  the 
hearts  of  us  virgins  ?  ' 

The  maid  looked  up,  blushing.  "  Nay, 
Madam,  an  it  please  you,  I  think  he  would 


make  us  too  crafty.  He  forgets  that  love  is 
blind  and  laughs  at  precepts." 

"  Ay,  wench,  you  are  in  the  right  of  it.  'Tis 
the  way  of  men.  They  call  us  coy  and  cold, 
but  'tis  they  who  are  the  pedlars  and  hucksters 
of  love.  'Tis  we  women  alone  who  will  aban- 
don all  to  the  God  and  count  no  consequences." 

Sir  Walter  said  nothing,  but  a  subtle  smile 
lurked  in  the  corners  of  his  mouth.  He  looked 
at  the  Queen,  and  she  met  his  eyes  squarely,  but 
not  for  long.  Soon  she  dropped  her  gaze,  and, 
if  I  be  not  blind,  there  was  no  less  than  a  blush 
on  her  august  cheek.  I  think  her  mind  had 
flown  to  my  lord  Leicester  and  others  whom 
she  had  used  ill. 

Presently,  with  many  bowings  and  excuses, 
Master  Askew  appeared,  the  master  of  the 
pageant  that  was  to  be  given  at  sundown,  and 
begged  for  the  attention  of  his  players.  The 
Queen  shooed  them  away  like  a  flock  of  geese. 
"  Get  you  to  your  mumming,  children,"  she 
cried ;  "  Sir  Walter  and  I  have  matters  of  high 
statecraft  to  discourse  on.  Get  you  gone,  I  say." 

I  would  have  departed  with   the   others,  but 


she  motioned  me  imperiously  to  bide.  "  Wait 
with  us,  Sir  Poet.  I  would  have  you  stay,  for 
Sir  Walter  and  I  are  prone  to  quarrel,  and  need 
a  peacemaker." 

I  think  she  had  detected  my  dislike  of  Raleigh, 
and  desired  me  to  remain  that  my  presence  might 
humble  him.  For  as  soon  as  we  were  alone  she 
began  to  rate  him  furiously.  There  was  that  in 
our  lady  Gloriana's  colour  and  mien  which  in 
her  anger  made  her  a  very  Fury  of  wrath. 

"  So  ho,  my  fair  Sir  Walter,"  she  says,  "  you 
are  the  coy  Sir  Galahad  in  your  verse,  but  I 
catch  you  forever  making  eyes  at  Bess  Throck- 

Raleigh  had  arisen  and  was  standing  by  a  beech 
trunk,  his  cape  of  purple  Cyprus  velvet  hanging 
low  on  his  arm. 

"  Nay,  Madam,"  he  said  ;  "  you  wrong  me.  I 
have  remarked  the  lady  that  she  is  kind  and  fair, 
but  I  have  eyes  for  no  woman  but  the  Queen  of 

"  Idle  words,"  said  Gloriana  scornfully.  "  You 
swear  your  devotion,  but  a  pretty  wench  breaks 
all  your  vows.  'Tis  the  way  of  mankind,  from 


Kings  and  Emperors  to  the  last  lout  of  a  country 
boy  I  have  plucked  out  of  Devon  mud  and  made 
a  man  o'.  Think  you  a  mother  loves  to  see  her 
brood  ensnared  by  the  wiles  of  other  females  ? 
There  never  yet  was  woman  who  hated  not  in 
her  heart  her  son's  wife.  Think  you  I  am  so 
free  from  the  common  emotions  of  my  sex  that 
I  can  suffer  gladly  to  see  my  cavaliers,  vowed  for 
service  to  me  alone,  dancing  like  apes  in  the  train 
of  misses  whose  mothers  but  yesterday  bound 
up  their  hair  ? ' 

Raleigh  had  narrowed  his  eyes  to  slits,  and  was 
listening  gravely.  Had  he  smiled,  I  think  his 
life  would  have  paid  for  his  folly,  but  he  was 
ever  one  to  know  to  a  nicety  the  limits  of  daring. 
I  stood  apart,  most  grievously  ill  at  ease,  wish- 
ing that  Her  Majesty  would  bid  me  join  the 

"  Speak,  you  wooden  doll !  "  cried  the  Queen, 
her  cheek  flaming  scarlet. 

"What  shall  I  say,  Madam?"  Sir  Walter 
answered  in  a  low,  soft  voice.  "  Your  Majesty's 
care  of  your  servants  is  more  tender  than  any 
mother's,  yet  we  look  not  to  you  as  a  mother. 


You  are  the  greatest  of  earthly  Queens,  yet  we 
look  not  up  to  you  as  Queen.  For  your  Majesty 
is  above  all  things  woman,  and  on  woman  a  man 
must  look  squarely,  neither  up  nor  down.  In 
the  Kingdom  of  Hearts  the  worshipper  and  the 
worshipped  are  on  level  ground." 

There  was  a  bold  speech  for  you  !  He  spoke 
with  such  a  gentle  and  grave  assurance  that  the 
Queen's  eyes  dropped.  'Twas  but  for  a  moment. 
She  fired  again,  and  cried  out  in  a  voice  harsh 
as  a  man's :  "  By  Harry's  soul,  you  Devon  sprigs 
have  more  conceit  than  any  Spaniard  !  You  are 
likewise  heretics,  and  would  proclaim  the  Queen 
of  England  mere  woman,  against  the  teaching  of 
his  Grace  of  Canterbury  and  his  Right  Reverence 
of  London.  Hoity  toity  !  Some  of  you  will 
cool  your  heels  in  the  Tower  for  this."  But  she 
laughed  all  the  while,  and  tapped  her  little  feet 
on  the  greensward,  so  that  her  needles  and 
embroidery  spilled  on  the  lawn. 

Presently  she  looked  up  at  Raleigh,  archly  as 
a  maid  in  her  teens  looks  on  a  lover.  And  this 
was  Gloriana,  who  had  left  her  teens  those  thirty 
years  and  more.  I  dare  not  say  that  she  was 


old.  There  are  women — and  men  likewise — of 
so  great  a  zest  for  life  that  the  body  seems  to 
keep  pace  with  the  spirit.  Certain  the  Queen 
of  England  had  the  power  at  moments  to  look 
as  young  and  fair  as  the  ageless  Queen  of  Love. 
'Twas  when  the  spirit  failed  her  that  her  cheeks 
pinched,  her  brow  lined,  and  her  eye  grew  dull. 

"  Is  there  man  bold  enough,"  she  asked  in  a 
honeyed  voice,  "  to  see  behind  the  Queen  to  the 
woman  ?  You  lack  not  courage,  Sir  Walter." 

'Twas  a  strange  scene,  and  one  I  would  have 
given  a  thousand  crowns  to  be  quit  of.  I  think 
that  both  must  have  forgotten  my  presence.  For 
if  ever  there  was  wooing  in  a  tone,  'twas  in  the 
Queen's.  The  flush  of  youth  sat  on  her  cheek, 
and  her  eyes  sparkled  like  a  shallow  in  Spring. 
One  delicate  hand  played  with  an  Italian  grey- 
hound crouched  at  her  feet,  the  other  tapped 
restlessly  on  her  knees.  She  was  looking  at  Sir 
Walter  from  under  lowered  lids. 

He  knelt  before  her  and  kissed  her  hand. 

"  I  speak,"  he  said,  "  what  all  men  know. 
Your  Majesty  has  long  held  the  hearts  of  your 
cavaliers  in  the  hollow  of  this  little  hand.  To 


me  you  are  neither  Queen  nor  mother,  but 
goddess,  the  lady  of  love  and  dawn.  You  have 
but  one  rival  in  my  heart." 

"  A  rival !  '  The  words  were  hissed  between 
her  teeth.  The  hand  was  snatched  away  and  the 
eyelids  opened,  like  a  curtain  drawn  from  a 
window  to  reveal  without  a  storm  of  lightnings. 
But  Sir  Walter  looked  up  unmoved. 

"  Ay,  Madam,  and  that  rival  is  your  own  sur- 
passing greatness.  For  if  you  are  lady  to  love, 
you  are  goddess  to  serve.  'Twas  you  who  gave 
to  us  all  our  warrant  of  chivalry  and  sent  us  out  on 
the  King's  Path.  We  cannot  draw  back  even  at 
your  bidding.  We  have  your  commands  to  do 
this  and  do  that  for  your  realm  of  England  ;  and 
seeing  that  you  are  England,  'tis  for  you  we  labour. 
Think  it  not  unkind  that  the  love  of  your  servants 
is  merged  in  worship.  'Tis  but  the  deeper  for 
that,  though  it  lack  common  expression." 

The  Queen  spoke  hoarsely.  "  Your  words  are 
riddles,  sir,  like  a  priest's,"  she  said. 

Raleigh  stood  up,  so  that  he  towered  over  her 
slim  sitting  form. 

"  Not  riddles  but  parables.     There  are  some 


who  are  cast  for  so  high  a  destiny  that  they  must 
forswear  homely  joys.  'Tis  not  that  they  lack 
the  plain  affections,  but  that  they  possess  the 
greater  duties.  Such  is  the  Queen  of  England, 
who  fights  God's  battles  against  an  armed  world. 
Such  in  a  little  way  is  her  lowly  servant,  Walter 
Raleigh,  who  rights  'neath  her  banner.  To 
him  she  is  goddess,  queen,  and  mistress,  but, 
being  Queen,  her  royalty  demands  service  before 

Gloriana  looked  up  at  last. 

"  Then  for  us  poor  Queens  there  is  no  love," 
she  said,  and  her  voice  was  thick  as  if  she  spoke 
through  tears. 

"  Nor  for  us  poor  knights,"  said  he.  "  You 
are  playing  with  the  world's  fates,  Madam.  For 
you  there  is  the  love  of  God  and  of  your  people 
and  of  the  unborn  generations  that  will  arise  in 
your  England  and  call  you  blessed.  But  there  is 
no  room  for  common  love.  You  are  beyond 
man's  reach,  and  you  have  set  your  knights  on 
the  same  stony  steeps  of  honour." 

Once  again  fell  a  silence. 

Then,  without   lifting    her    head,   the   Queen 


spoke.  "  I  thank  you,  my  lord.  You  have 
spoken  honestly  and  bravely,  as  a  true  man 
should.  I  pray  you  to  go  now  and  bid  my 
maids  attend  me." 

I  noted  that  she  called  him  "  my  lord."  I 
think  her  mind  was  harking  back  to  a  day  when 
she  and  my  lord  Leicester  had  spoken  of  the 
same  matter.  We  of  the  Court  had  guessed  often 
at  the  conclusion,  but  now  I  learnt  the  truth  ; 
save  that  I  think  that  the  words  now  spoken  by 
Raleigh  had  then  been  in  the  Queen's  mouth. 

I  spent  the  day  in  a  deep  perplexity  ;  and  late 
in  the  afternoon  sought  out  Sir  Walter  Raleigh 
when  he  was  walking  on  the  great  terrace  above 
the  fish-ponds.  I  reminded  him  of  the  morning, 
and  offered  myself  for  the  duello. 

"  I  place  my  life  in  your  hand,"  said  I.  "  God 
knows  I  have  never  loved  you,  but  1  am  man 
enough  to  appraise  your  manhood.  This  morn 
I  was  the  unwilling  spectator  at  a  scene  which 
deeply  concerns  my  mistress's  honour  and  your 
own.  'Tis  for  you  to  say  whether  one  who 
has  seen  what  I  have  seen  can  be  suffered  to 


live.  I  take  the  chance  of  death  at  your 

I  had  looked  for  his  acceptance,  or  perchance 
some  cold  and  scornful  rejoinder  which  would  have 
goaded  me  to  insult.  Instead,  he  laid  both  hands 
on  my  shoulders,  and  there  were  tears  in  his  eyes. 

"  Kill  you,  Sir  Gabriel  !  By  my  faith,  'twould 
be  to  make  the  world  too  poor.  You  ask  me  to 
do  murder  upon  one  whose  sole  offence  is  that 
he  has  over  nice  a  sense  of  honour.  Fight  you, 
forsooth  !  I  would  liefer  embrace  you." 

He  twined  his  arm  in  mine  and  drew  me  beyond 
the  terrace  into  the  hollows  of  the  great  park. 
When  a  man  is  strung  up  to  a  desperate  resolve 
he  is  in  no  mood  for  pleasantry,  and  I  would 
have  stayed  his  going  had  I  not  seen  that  in  his 
face  which  constrained  me.  'Twas  the  face  of 
one  who  had  passed  through  a  deeper  perplexity 
than  mine,  and  was  still  in  the  throes  of  it.  The 
high  light  air,  the  pride,  the  brave  deportment, 
had  gone,  and  in  their  place  left  a  much-vexed, 
deep-thinking  man.  The  courtier  was  un- 

Down  in  a  thicket  of  green  bracken  a  herd  of 


deer  was  feeding.  The  scene  after  twenty  years 
stands  as  clear  in  my  mind  as  if  it  had  been 
yesterday.  There  came  a  faint  noise  of  lutes 
and  viols  from  the  terrace,  where  the  mummers 
were  ordering  the  pageant.  A  country  wench  in 
a  yellow  gown  was  singing  as  she  took  the  track 
to  Berkhampstead.  Up  in  the  beechen  shade 
cushats  were  crooning,  and  a  low  hum  of  bees 
filled  the  sweet-scented  air.  'Twas  a  very  Arcadia 
of  summer  loveliness,  and  there  in  the  midst  of 
it  stood  we  two  perplexed  mortals,  wrinkling  our 
brows  at  Fate. 

Raleigh  flung  himself  on  the  greensward  and 
plucked  idly  at  a  flower. 

"  I  wish  to  Heaven  I  had  a  pipe  of  tobacco," 
he  said.  "  The  herb  is  a  sovran  cure  for  ill 
temper.  You  have  heard  and  seen,  Sir  Gabriel. 
Perchance  you  now  know  somewhat  of  the  trials 
of  us  poor  favourites  of  Fortune.  There  lives 
no  greater  soul  under  God  than  this  Queen  of 
ours,  but  she  is  very  woman,  and  her  woman- 
hood is  the  burden  which  beats  down  the  wings 
of  her  greatness.  She  has  created  such  a  Round 
Table  as  King  Arthur  never  dreamed  of,  but  she 


is    reluctant    to  send   out   her   knights  on   their 


I  had  nought  to  say,  but  could  only  watch  the 
moody  face  of  this  splendid  gentleman,  who  thus 
confessed  his  heart. 

"  All  the  world  envies  me,"  he  went  on.  "  I 
have  been  honoured  with  Her  Majesty's  special 
favour.  I  have  been  given  estates  and  high 
offices.  My  substance  is  great,  and  my  degree  and 
honour  of  the  noblest.  But  what  profits  it,  man  ? 
I  am  still  a  captive,  in  fetters  of  fine  silk  and  pure 
gold.  By  my  faith,  a  tarry  sailor  in  a  Bristol 
barque  has  more  of  a  man's  task  than  mine." 

"  You  have  the  ordering  of  high  places  of 
state,"  I  ventured. 

"  Places  of  state  ! '  he  laughed.  "  Ay,  old 
Burghley  comes  with  his  ferret  face  and  begs  my 
consideration.  But  what  of  that  ?  I  am  as  little 
of  a  statesman  as  Her  Majesty's  favourite  lady.  I 
open  the  way  to  her  presence.  Perchance  my 
advice  is  asked,  but  my  words  weigh  nothing. 
The  Queen  loves  my  blunt  speech,  but  she 
hearkens  only  to  her  tame  fox,  and  to  herself." 

He  got  to  his  feet  and  strode  up  and  down. 


"  Mark  you,  Sir  Gabriel,  I  have  but  the  one 
passion,  to  make  this  good  England  the  sun 
of  all  the  world.  I  see  her  enemies  clustering 
around  as  thick  as  locusts.  I  see  such  a  breed 
of  men  within  our  shores  as  would,  if  unchained, 
sweep  land  and  sea  clear  of  our  ill-wishers.  I 
see  a  great-hearted  and  most  wise  lady,  who  loves 
her  people  well,  but,  womanlike,  will  tarry,  and 
in  her  tenderness  to  youth  will  clip  its  wings. 
She  suffers  me  to  send  my  expeditions  to  the 
Indies,  but  laughs  at  them  as  if  they  were  a 
merry  whim.  For  myself,  she  forbids  me  to 
leave  these  shores,  and  well  I  know  that  where 
no  leader  is  there  will  be  no  glory.  I  strut 
peacock-like  about  the  Court,  petted,  flattered, 
envied ;  but  before  God  I  would  rather  have  a 
tall  ship  and  a  Devon  crew,  and  be  risking  my 
all  on  a  desperate  enterprise.  A  Court  is  nothing 
but  a  green-sickness  for  a  man's  spirit." 

Then  he  approached  me  and  laid  his  hands 
again  on  my  shoulders. 

"  Pardon  me,  fair  friend,  if  I  spoke  slightingly 
of  that  life  to  which  you  are  vowed.  There  are 
honest  men  whose  light  shines  best  in  such  a 


scene  of  leisure  and  peace.  Would  that  Edmund 
Spenser  would  join  you  in  this  world  of  gardens 
and  indite  his  divine  measures  in  your  good 
company  !  But  for  me,  I  am  of  another  fibre. 
A  brown  moor-cock  is  ill  at  ease  among  the  doves 
and  peacocks  of  a  pleasaunce.  I  have  no  gift 
for  Courts.  I  like  little  their  soft  beds,  and  rich 
dress  and  dainty  foods.  I  would  rather  the  smell 
of  salt  than  the  scent  of  musk.  Nay,  I  had  rather 
the  sour  Irish  mosses  than  this  Arcady.  For  I 
am  a  man  who  must  be  up  and  doing  or  he  stifles. 
I  know  the  gifts  God  has  given  me.  I  can  lead 
rough  fellows  up  to  the  cannon's  mouth  ;  and  I 
think  I  have  a  native  genius  for  seacraft.  I  will 
search  you  out  the  riches  of  strange  lands,  for  the 
love  of  them  burns  in  me.  But  for  this  philander- 
ing and  dancing  and  versifying,  my  soul  loathes  it ! 
Good  my  friend,  I  speak  to  you  honestly  as  to 
a  true  man.  Some  day  the  silken  cords  will  be 
cut,  and  the  world  will  mark  the  fall  of  Raleigh. 
But  haply  Raleigh  will  be  gone  on  a  better 

His    voice    stopped   suddenly,  and    the    grave 
passion  vanished  from  his  face.      In  its  stead  came 

(1,562)  6 


the  look  of  railing  gallantry  which  was  his  Court 
manner.  I  glanced  behind  and  saw  the  cause. 

A  very  pretty  lady  came  tripping  over  the 

"  Sweet  sirs,"  she  lisped,  "  I  am  bidden  fetch 
you.  Master  Askew  hath  need  of  you.  The 
Masque  begins  in  another  hour,  and  the  advice 
of  Sir  Gabriel  is  sought  on  certain  high  matters. 
Master  Askew  would  consult,  too,  with  Sir 
Walter  touching  his  raiment.  It  is  thought  the 
white  taffeta  sown  with  black  pearls  would  be 
fitting  garb  for  the  King  of  the  Shades.  .  . 

Chapter  IV. 

"  O  watchman,  leaning  from  the  mast, 

What  of  the  night  ?     The  shadows  flee, 
The  stars  grow  pale,  the  storm  is  past, 

A  blood-red  sunrise  stains  the  sea. 
At  length,  at  length,  O  desperate  wills, 

Luck  takes  the  tiller  and  foul  tides  turn  ; 
Superb  amid  majestic  hills 

The  domes  of  Eldorado  burn." 

—  The  Ship  of  Fools. 

.  -- 


:;'f  SNapl 



''---  ' 

Chapter   IV. 


.  .  .  TV/TY  head  was  buzzing  like  a  spinning- 
top,  and  it  seemed  that  scalding  water 
fell  on  me  so  that  I  could  scarce  draw  breath. 
Also  there  was  an  orange-tawny  bird,  with  a  blue 
beak  and  a  face  like  the  parson  of  Budleigh,  that 
kept  cocking  a  wicked  eye  on  me  and  flapping 
his  wings.  I  besought  Amias  Thyn  to  kill  the 
fowl,  but  he  answered  that  'twas  only  a  fancy 
of  my  fever.  Upon  that  I  up  and  fetched  Amias 
a  blow  on  the  face,  and  myself  the  next  moment 
toppled  to  the  earth.  For  certain  I  was  very 
near  my  end.  The  poison  from  the  arrow-head 
had  wrought  desperately  in  my  blood,  and  I  was 
fallen  into  the  last  fever  of  the  brain. 

*  Nathan  Stubbs,  captain  of  the  ship  Good  Venture,  told  this  tale  to  Master 
Samuel  Purchas,  who  omitted  it  for  obvious  reasons  from  his  famous  Pilgrimes. 
Nathan's  narrative,  however,  exists  in  MS.  in  a  very  difficult  handwriting,  and 
a  copy  is  in  the  library  of  an  Oxford  college. 


I  was  now  five  months  out  of  England,  weary 
months  in  truth  for  body  and  soul.  Since  the 
February  morn  when  we  sailed  from  Plymouth, 
we  had  traversed  many  thousand  leagues  of  ocean, 
made  capture  of  ships,  and  laid  hands  on  the  new- 
built  Spanish  city  of  Saint  Joseph  in  the  isle  of 
Trinidad.  For  guide  we  had  Captain  Jacob 
Whiddon,  an  old  voyager  in  these  parts,  and  for 
fellow  -  adventurers  young  bloods  from  every 
manor  in  the  West,  and  likewise  some  tough  and 
salted  sea-captains  to  correct  the  yeast  of  youth. 
Our  Admiral  was  that  famous  knight  Walter 
Raleigh,  the  Captain  of  Her  Majesty's  Guard, 
and  the  Lieutenant-General  of  the  County  of 
Cornwall.  Aforetime  I  had  known  this  Sir 
Walter,  when  he  was  the  glory  and  particular 
star  of  the  Court.  He  was  used  to  come  among 
us  of  the  sea  at  every  port  in  the  West,  and  would 
sit  for  hours  discussing  of  our  travels.  I  have 
seen  him  at  Falmouth  and  Plymouth,  in  rich 
robes  and  chains  of  gold,  seated  hard  by  a  tarry 
sailorman,  as  if  he  had  never  trod  softer  floors 
than  a  ship's  deck.  Hence  he  was  vehemently 
beloved  by  all  seafarers,  but  he  had  ever  a  moody 


brow  and  a  dark  eye,  save  when  he  glowed  at 
some  tale  of  adventure.  We  had  heard  how  he 
had  fallen  into  disgrace  with  the  Queen,  and  was 
enclosed  for  long  in  the  Tower  of  London,  and 
then  banished  to  his  country  manor.  When  the 
word  went  round  that  he  was  equipping  a  fleet 
for  a  venture  to  the  Indies,  there  was  no  man 
from  Southampton  to  Bristol  but  burned  to  sail 
with  him.  I  mind  well  how  he  came  down  to 
Plymouth  Quay  to  join  his  ships,  with  so  gay 
a  step  and  light  an  eye  you  would  have  thought 
him  no  more  than  boy.  When  the  crews  cheered 
him  from  the  bulwarks,  he  waved  his  hat  and 
smiled  like  a  man  who  has  at  last  come  home. 

But  to  my  tale.  From  Trinidad  we  set  out  in 
a  flotilla,  for  our  vessels  could  not  ascend  the 
river  Orinoko,  because  of  the  shoals  and  currents. 
The  whole  company  of  us  had  to  ship  in  three 
wherries  and  a  barge.  As  for  the  Admiral,  he 
had  an  old  gallego  boat  cut  down  so  that  she 
drew  but  five  feet  of  water,  fitted  her  with  banks 
of  oars,  and  embarked  in  her  with  sixty  officers 
and  gentlemen-volunteers.  After  that  I  mind 
little  save  the  sickness  that  racked  us  in  the  open 


sea  ere  we  made  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  the 
perilous  water-ways  we  laboured  through  there- 
after. There  was  no  room  to  land,  for  the  woods 
came  down  to  the  edge  as  thick  as  furze  and 
reached  evil  claws  into  the  water.  The  air  was 
full  of  fever,  and  the  heat  of  the  sun  like  gusts 
from  a  baker's  oven.  We  were  for  ever  ground- 
ing in  shallows,  and  to  shove  off  had  to  wade 
deep  in  the  stream,  in  mortal  fear  of  the  noisome 
toothed  serpents  called  Lagartos  that  dwell  in 
such  rivers.  From  ill  feeding  and  unchanged 
raiment  we  became  foul  and  offensive  alike  to  our 
fellows  and  ourselves  ;  and  the  incessant  toil  of 
rowing,  in  which  gentle  and  simple  shared  alike, 
came  near  to  driving  us  mad.  But  through  it  all 
the  Admiral  abated  nothing  of  his  courage  and 
sweet  temper.  He  would  urge  us  on  with  a 
cheerful  word  and  a  merry  quip,  and  the  weakest 
would  bend  stoutly  to  the  oars  if  he  saw  Sir 
Walter  near  him. 

Presently  we  came  out  of  the  narrows  to  the 
main  stream  of  the  Orinoko,  and  found  the 
noblest  country  mine  eyes  had  ever  beheld. 
'Twas  a  great  park,  full  of  green  grass  and  high 


groves  of  trees  and  a  multitude  of  fruits.  The 
deer  flocked  to  the  water's  edge  as  if  they  had 
been  used  to  a  keeper's  call.  Now  'twas  possible 
to  land,  and  eat  and  sleep  on  solid  ground.  A 
merry  wind  sprang  up  behind  us  and  lessened 
the  toil  of  rowing,  and,  having  abundant  food 
and  good  knowledge  of  the  way,  our  hearts  were 
wondrously  uplifted.  On  the  seventh  day  we 
saw  afar  off  toward  the  West  a  blue  line  of 
mountains  and  rejoiced,  for  we  knew  them  for 
the  husk  of  El  Dorado. 

After  a  fortnight's  passage,  during  which  we 
saw  many  curious  things,  we  came  to  Morequito, 
the  port  of  the  kingdom  of  Aromaia,  and  found 
there  the  King  Topiawari,  whose  nephew  had 
been  foully  slain  by  the  Spaniard.  He  welcomed 
us  graciously,  and  gave  us  bread  and  wine  and  all 
manner  of  flesh  and  fowl  ;  likewise  a  quantity 
of  pine-apples,  the  princess  of  all  fruits,  which 
purgeth  the  fever  from  a  man's  blood.  As  the 
King  led  us  about  his  country  we  remarked  the 
rocks  streaked  with  gold,  which  was  no  Mar- 
quesite,  such  as  appears  in  other  parts  of  the 
Indies,  but  the  true  "  Mother  of  Gold "  that 


is  the  guide  to  rich  metal  below  the  soil.  Also 
we  found  a  stone  like  a  sapphire,  and  the  people 
had  great  wealth  of  spleen-stones,  or,  as  some 
name  them,  emeralds.  But  especially  the  King 
Topiawari  told  the  Admiral  of  the  City  of 
Manoa,  where  the  Incas  rule,  which  lieth  many 
leagues  west  by  south  in  the  high  hills.  All 
round  the  base  of  the  mountain  dwelleth  a  fierce 
tribe,  by  name  the  Epimureans,  who  are  in  league 
with  the  Inca  and  keep  his  marches.  They  war 
with  the  other  Indian  peoples,  and  the  King  was 
earnest  with  us  to  join  him  in  a  march  against 
them.  But  the  Admiral  considered  that  we  had 
too  few  men  for  such  a  venture,  and  that  the 
floods  of  the  river  which  were  now  beginning 
made  it  impolitic  to  penetrate  further  that  year 
in  the  direction  of  Manoa.  He  therefore  re- 
solved to  return,  being  satisfied  of  the  great  riches 
of  the  country  and  the  friendly  disposition  of  the 
people  to  our  mistress  the  Queen  of  England. 
The  Indians  marvelled  at  our  clemency  and  justice, 
for  by  the  Admiral's  orders  no  man  might  take 
so  much  as  a  potato  plant  from  one  of  the  poor 
people  without  making  him  satisfaction. 


'Twas  in  the  last  days  of  June  that  my  troubles 
began.  The  Admiral  sent  for  me  and  told  me 
his  purpose  of  return.  He  said  that  he  desired 
more  knowledge  about  the  golden  parts  of  Guiana, 
and  the  civil  towns  and  apparelled  people  of  the 
Incas,  and  he  desired  this  knowledge  from  English 
eyes  and  lips.  There  was  an  old  Cacique,  dwell- 
ing in  the  upper  vales  of  the  Caroni,  a  river  of 
Aromaia,  whose  town  was  but  two  days'  march 
from  the  borders  of  the  Epimureans.  He  was 
willing  to  guide  me  to  the  borders,  if  haply  from 
some  hill-top  I  might  get  sight  of  the  great  lake 
on  which  stands  the  City  of  Manoa.  Then  he 
would  lead  me  back  by  a  shorter  path,  so  that  I 
might  join  the  flotilla  on  its  homeward  journey. 
"  You  will  take  with  you  Amias  Thyn,"  said  Sir 
Walter,  "  for  I  can  spare  no  more  English.  And 
God  be  with  you,  Nathan,  for  I  know  you  a 
man  of  discretion  and  good  heart." 

By  this  time  I  was  somewhat  restored  in  health, 
and  my  eagerness  for  the  errand  had  almost  made 
me  leap  with  joy.  We  departed  on  a  fine  sunshine 
morning,  and  journeyed  in  boats  as  far  as  the  flow 
of  the  Caroni  allowed.  But  since  the  flood-time 


was  beginning  the  rowers  could  scarcely  win  a 
stone's  throw  in  an  hour,  so  we  put  to  land,  and 
travelled  on  foot  beyond  the  falls  of  the  river, 
which  are  a  dozen  in  number  and  each  as  high  as 
a  church  tower.  Thereafter  we  reached  a  country 
of  short  grass  and  pressed  on  easily,  save  that 
Amias  Thyn,  who  was  no  footman,  lagged  some- 
what behind.  By  the  second  evening  we  had 
come  to  the  town  of  the  Cacique,  and  were  civilly 
lodged  in  a  hut  of  wood.  That  night  the  people 
of  the  place  brought  us  pine-apple  wine  in  stone 
jars,  and  so  caroused  with  us  that  Amias  was  like 
to  have  perished  of  colic. 

The  next  morn  we  set  out  with  the  Cacique 
and  two  Indian  guides  into  the  woods  which 
stretched  to  the  country  of  the  Epimureans. 
From  the  start  I  knew  that  the  venture  was  to  be 
ill-fated,  for  I  saw  three  crows  on  a  single  branch, 
and  Amias,  being  giddy  from  the  night's  frolic, 
shot  at  one  with  his  musket.  The  Cacique 
warned  us  that  the  woods  were  full  of  evil  men, 
who  are  of  a  different  race  from  the  Indians  and 
are  called,  I  think,  Aroras.  They  have  squat 
bodies  and  sleek  black  hair,  and  live  on  human 

MANOA    THE    GOLDEN.  91 

flesh.  Also  they  shoot  poisoned  arrows,  of  which 
only  the  Indian  soothsayers  know  the  cure.  But, 
said  he,  his  tribe  was  at  peace  with  the  Aroras, 
and  if  we  went  discreetly  and  fast  we  might  win 
through  without  trouble. 

All  went  well  till  the  afternoon  of  the  next  day, 
when  we  seemed  to  be  near  the  edge  of  the  trees, 
for  in  the  gaps  we  could  see  peaks  of  mountains. 
We  had  halted  for  food,  when  there  came  a  cry 
from  the  guide  who  led  us  and  a  rustling  in  the 
thicket.  Presently  I  saw  a  dark  face  among  the 
leaves,  and  ere  I  knew  something  pierced  my 
shoulder.  I  fired  my  musket  at  the  invisible  foe, 
and  Amias  did  the  like  ;  and  the  next  second  all 
was  quiet  save  for  the  mutterings  of  the  Indians. 
But  when  the  Cacique  saw  my  wound  he  set  up 
a  great  lamentation,  and  cried  out  that  I  had  taken 
a  deadly  poison.  A  faintness  fell  on  me,  and  in  a 
dream  I  suffered  him  to  cut  away  the  flesh  and 
burn  the  wound  with  powder.  Then  I  was 
dragged  between  the  Indians  at  a  great  pace 
through  the  trees  until  we  came  to  the  edge  of  a 
rocky  upland. 

That   Cacique  was   the   best   Christian   it  has 


ever  been  my  lot  to  meet.  He  bade  his  men 
make  a  rough  hut  for  me,  in  which  I  lay  tortured 
with  pain  and  yet  so  weak  that  I  could  scarce 
move  to  ease  my  anguish.  He  gave  me  medicine, 
but  it  seemed  that  he  had  not  the  knowledge  of 
the  royal  cure.  For  he  bade  Amias  watch  me 
close  to  prevent  me  doing  a  mischief  in  my  mad- 
ness, and  set  off  to  find  an  Indian  soothsayer  who 
should  heal  my  wound.  All  this  Amias  told  me 
later.  .  .  . 

So  I  come  to  where  my  tale  began,  as  I  lay 
raving  in  the  hut  on  the  border  of  the  Epimureans. 
After  I  smote  Amias  I  lost  all  knowledge  of  the 
world.  In  such  state  I  lay  for  hours,  and  then 
about  the  first  light  my  mind  cleared.  The 
torture  had  gone,  my  wits  had  returned,  but 
I  felt  the  life  ebbing  in  my  members.  I  knew 
that  death  was  near,  and  strove  to  turn  my  mind 
to  thoughts  of  heaven.  But  all  I  could  see  was 
the  blessed  orange-tawny  bird  with  the  face  of 
the  parson  of  Budleigh. 

I  noted  Amias  sunk  in  sleep  on  the  ground, 
as  weary  as  a  hound  after  the  chase.  I  wanted 
to  laugh  at  the  oddity  of  his  red  face  burrowed 

xMANOA    THE    GOLDEN.  93 

into  the  leaves.  Then  the  screen  of  boughs 
was  lifted  and  I  saw  the  Cacique  bending  over 
me,  and  with  him  another.  That  other  was  an 
old  man  with  a  thin  white  beard  and  a  high 
nose  ;  and  I  thought  him  a  white  heron  come  to 
fight  the  terrible  orange-tawny  fowl. 

I  know  not  what  he  did  to  me,  but  six  hours 
later  I  awoke  from  deep  slumber  with  the  pain 
gone  and  my  health  restored,  save  for  a  singing 
in  my  head  like  the  fall  of  a  weir.  There  was 
Amias  smoking  a  pipe,  and  the  Cacique  and  the 
old  soothsayer  playing  a  game  on  a  thing  like  a 

"  Ho,  there  !  "  I  cried  in  a  thin  voice.  "  God 
has  raised  me  up,  and  His  name  be  praised !  We 
have  no  time  to  tarry  if  I  am  to  join  the  Admiral. 
We  must  be  up  and  off  this  very  day." 

The  priest  came  to  my  side.  He  was  a  lean 
old  man,  the  gloom  of  his  complexion  grown  by 
age  to  a  fine  ivory. 

"  What  came  you  out  for  to  seek  ?  '  he  asks, 
like  the  Scriptures. 

"  I  am  bidden  by  the  Admiral  to  find  the  hill 
in  the  land  of  the  Epimureans  from  which  a 


man  may  see  the  City  of  Manoa."  I  spoke  in 
Spanish  to  the  Cacique,  who  turned  my  words 
into  the  Indian  tongue. 

The  old  man  shook  his  head.  "  I  have  heard 
of  you  English  as  a  great  people  of  the  East, 
who  worship  the  one  God  and  are  ruled  by 
a  Virgin.  You  do  justly  by  all  men,  and  rob 
not  like  those  of  Spain.  But  why  seek  you 
Manoa  ?  " 

"  Why  ? '  I  cried.  "  Because  of  the  tales 
of  it.  'Tis  a  mystery  that  fires  our  blood.  I 
want  to  see  the  princes  who  smear  their  bodies 
with  gum  and  roll  in  gold  dust,  and  the  city  so 
great  that  if  a  man  enters  one  afternoon  'tis  the 
evening  of  the  next  day  ere  he  comes  to  the 
King's  Palace.  I  would  see  the  golden  battle- 
ments, and  the  golden  birds  that  sing  by  magic, 
and  the  golden  flowers  that  deck  the  islands. 
I  mind  of  a  lame  Spaniard  in  Cartagena  who 
had  a  pouch  full  of  gold  beads  that  he  told  me 
were  the  pebbles  of  the  lake  shore." 

"  And  if  you  win  there,  you  English,  what 
next  ?  "  says  the  priest. 

"  For  us  common   folk    there  will   be   gold," 


said  I.  "  I  know  not  the  mind  of  my  Admiral, 
but  'tis  rumoured  that  he  would  ally  our  kingdom 
with  the  Grand  Inca,  and  make  so  strong  a  band 
against  the  Spaniard  as  to  drive  him  forth  of 
Tierra  Firme." 

The  priest  spoke  in  Indian  to  the  Cacique. 
Then  he  looked  first  at  me  and  then  at  Amias 
as  if  he  would  search  our  souls. 

"  My  brother  has  sworn  to  lead  you  to  the 
Hill  of  Vision,"  he  said.  "  And  it  is  just  that 
he  should  keep  troth.  But  I  warn  you  that  ill 
may  come  of  it.  The  Golden  City  is  strong 
guarded  by  the  spells  of  dead  kings.  I  cannot 
break  them.  No  stranger  from  the  East  will 
fare  better." 

I  answered  that  I  feared  no  charm,  being 
strong  in  the  Christian  faith  ;  but  he  paid  little 
heed  to  my  words. 

"  You  are  feeble,"  he  said,  "  and  'tis  a  hard 
journey.  I  have  brought  you  back  from  the 
edge  of  death.  Will  you  trust  me  to  fortify  you 
for  travel  ? ' 

The  Cacique  was  earnest  with  me  to  swallow 
the  priest's  drug ;  for  without  this,  he  said,  we 


should  both  faint  by  the  way.  From  a  wallet 
he  took  some  little  packets  and  mingled  two 
potions  each,  for  me  and  Amias.  The  first  was 
bitter  as  wormwood  and  set  my  ears  drumming 
so  that  I  feared  deafness.  The  second  put  me 
into  a  great  ease  and  contentment,  so  that  I  could 
have  sung  aloud  for  joy.  Amias,  who  was  ever 
a  fool,  did  indeed  sing — a  tavern  ditty  about  Poll 
and  Sue,  which  he  fitted  to  a  melancholious 
psalm  tune. 

A  little  later  we  started,  while  it  was  still 
forenoon,  and  travelled  up  the  rocky  slope  of 
the  hills.  The  priest  and  I  rode  on  mules  which 
he  had  brought,  while  Amias  and  the  Cacique 
went  on  foot.  Amias  was  for  ordinary  a  miser- 
able footman,  but  the  potion  he  had  drunk  so 
filled  him  with  eagerness  that  he  outstepped  the 
mules.  We  spoke  little,  being  deep  sunk  in 
peace.  All  I  knew  was  that  we  mounted  ever 
higher,  till  we  saw  the  land  behind  us  lie  flat  to 
the  Orinoko,  and  in  front  and  on  either  hand 
great  swellings  of  mountain. 

I  mind  the  exceeding  gladness  I  felt.      'Twas 
like  boyhood  returned,  with  no  sin  to  burden  the 

MANOA    THE    GOLDEN.  97 

conscience  and  no  failure  to  cloud  the  spirit. 
Whether  'twas  the  drug  or  the  high  air  I  know 
not,  but  I  seemed  to  be  out  of  the  body.  We 
wound  up  a  track  that  led  to  a  pass  in  the  hills, 
and  in  the  nick  of  it  the  sun  was  setting  like  an 
eye  of  fire.  I  made  certain  that  beyond  that 
pass  lay  Manoa  :  indeed  the  sky  had  a  shimmer 
of  light  as  if  it  had  caught  the  reflection  from 
acres  of  gold  ;  and  I  cried  on  the  others  to 
hasten,  that  we  might  win  up  by  nightfall.  But 
the  pass  was  longer  than  I  had  judged,  and  at 
the  darkness  we  were  forced  to  camp  some  way 
short  of  the  summit. 

I  ate  little  food,  and  soon  fell  asleep  in  deep 
weariness.  All  night  long  I  dreamed  of  angels 
and  heavenly  mansions,  so  delectable  a  dream 
that  I  could  have  wept  at  the  wakening.  'Twas 
a  clear  dawn,  and  no  man  spoke  as  we  saddled 
the  mules  and  took  our  way  toward  the  ridge  of 
the  mountains. 

Many  times  in  my  life  I  have  been  a-quiver 
with  eagerness,  so  that  my  knees  loosened  under 
me,  and  my  heart  smote  on  my  ribs.  I  have  felt 
thus  in  a  sea-fight  before  the  shots  began,  and 

(1,562)  7 


very  notably  when  I  waited  on  Nell  Ottaway's 
answer  to  the  declaration  of  my  love.  But  never 
in  love  or  war  have  I  felt  so  shattering  a  tremor. 
Even  the  muddy  soul  of  Amias  Thyn  was  kindled 
to  expectation.  Every  step,  I  thought,  would 
bring  me  the  promised  sight,  but  a  ridge  inter- 
vened, and  still  another.  At  last,  when  I  did 
not  look  for  it,  we  had  turned  a  corner  and  stood 
on  a  ledge  gazing  on  a  new  country. 

I  fell  off  my  mule,  and  with  Amias  viewed 
the  prospect  on  my  knees,  calling  on  God  to 
be  merciful  to  sinful  men.  For  this  was  what 
I  saw  .  .  . 

Below  me  the  cliffs  fell  sheer  for  a  mile  or 
so  to  a  plain  of  greenest  grass  where  herds  of 
white  cattle  grazed.  There  was  a  brimming 
river  winding  through  the  meadows,  as  I  have 
seen  the  Thames  wind  in  the  fields  by  Richmond. 
Beyond  these  pastures  were  orchards,  where  it 
seemed  to  me  I  could  see  golden  fruit  hang  as 
thick  as  haws  on  a  whitethorn.  And  beyond 
the  orchards  was  a  lake,  so  long  that  to  left  and 
right  its  blue  waters  were  lost  in  haze.  On  this 
lake  I  saw  the  white  sails  of  many  craft,  and  on 

MANOA    THE    GOLDEN.  99 

its  multitude  of  isles  white  towers  and  flowery 

But  beyond  the  lake  was  the  sight  that  bank- 
rupted me  of  breath  and  sent  Amias  to  his 
prayers.  For  there  stood  a  city  so  great  and 
noble  that  it  seemed  as  if  no  mortal  could  have 
raised  it.  'Twas  all  of  shimmering  white  like 
sea-foam,  but  the  roofs  were  of  naked  gold.  I 
saw  the  streets  run  in  pleasant  lines  to  a  great 
palace  set  on  a  low  hill,  which  was  assuredly  the 
jewel  of  so  fair  a  casket.  Its  golden  dome  was 
like  a  mirror,  in  which  the  clouds  showed 
themselves  and  the  sun  was  re-born. 

Yet  'twas  not  the  riches  and  magnificence  of 
Manoa  that  melted  my  heart  :  'twas  its  air  of 
happy  peace.  From  my  hill -top  I  could  see 
no  inhabitants,  though  a  faint  hum  of  life  rose 
to  my  ears.  But  a  kind  of  glory  brooded  there 
such  as  the  Blessed  may  hope  for  in  Paradise. 
I  had  forgotten  about  gold  and  fame,  for  the 
thing  seemed  too  precious  to  pollute  with  mortal 
thoughts.  'Twas  a  realm  so  far  more  lovely 
and  desirable  than  the  greatest  empire  that 
I  could  scarce  believe  it  to  be  of  this  world, 


ioo          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

As    for   Amias    he   did   nothing    but   weep    and 

"  You  see  Manoa,  my  son,"  said  the  priests 
voice.  "  If  you  would  see  your  friends  again, 
'tis  time  to  depart." 

At  this  I  fell  into  despair.  I  could  not  leave 
so  noble  a  vision.  I  besought  him  to  show  me 
the  entrance,  though  it  should  cost  me  years  of 
travel.  Nay,  I  would  gladly  have  starved  slowly 
on  that  ledge  of  rock  so  that  I  could  have  feasted 
my  eyes  on  the  City. 

"  There  is  no  entrance  for  you,"  he  said. 
"  The  folk  of  the  City  are  wise,  and  would  keep 
free  from  the  wars  and  sorrows  of  the  world. 
They  have  guarded  their  land  with  spells  that  no 
man  can  break  save  with  their  good  will.  I  have 
brought  you  to  the  sight  of  it,  because  I  have 
heard  of  the  honour  of  your  people.  Think 
well  of  it,  my  son  ;  'tis  not  fitting  to  mar  so  fair 
a  thing  for  any  lust  of  treasure.  Seek  your  gold 
mines  elsewhere,  for  you  cannot  reach  the  pure 
gold  of  the  City  of  the  Sun." 

I  asked  if  no  man  had  entered  the  place. 

"  Once,"  said  he,  "  a  man  found  the  key  after 

MANOA    THE    GOLDEN.  101 

years  of  toil,  but  it  profited  him  nothing.  He 
entered  the  City  and  saw  its  glories,  but  his  soul 
was  earthy  and  the  sight  destroyed  his  wits.  He 
was  led  forth,  and  travelled  back  to  the  Spanish 
towns,  but  he  babbled  wild  things  and  died  in  a 
frenzy.  No  man  believed  his  tale.  .  .  .  But 
see.  The  Gods  warn  us.  If  we  would  save  our 
lives,  we  must  depart." 

A  black  thundercloud  was  gathering  round  the 
heights,  and  in  another  minute  the  storm  burst, 
almost  sweeping  us  from  our  ledge.  We  hastened 
to  leave,  the  regret  in  my  soul  so  choking  me 
that  I  had  no  speech,  nor  any  strength  to  stay. 
But  as  we  went  I  noted  one  marvel.  For, 
whereas  the  storm  was  dark  around  us  to  the 
edge  of  the  cliff,  beyond  'twas  clear  sunlight. 
Through  the  driving  sleet  I  had  one  last  glimpse 
of  the  shining  towers  of  Manoa  the  Golden  .  .  . 

Seven  days  later,  on  the  bank  of  the  Orinoko, 
we  met  with  the  Admiral's  flotilla.  Seven  weary 
days  they  proved,  so  that  Amias  and  I  were  but 
hollow-eyed  scarecrows  when  out  of  the  swamps 
we  hailed  the  first  boats.  We  had  both  fallen 

102          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

into  a  fever,  partly  from  toil  and  partly  from  the 
regret  and  wonder  of  our  minds.  Indeed  'twas 
little  I  cared  what  befell  me.  Ravening  beasts 
and  savage  men  were  as  nothing  compared  with 
the  ache  of  loss  in  my  heart. 

Sir  Walter  had  me  aboard  the  gallego,  and  in 
presence  of  his  officers  and  volunteers  questioned 
me  on  our  adventure.  I  begged  that  I  might 
tell  them  first  to  his  private  ear ;  and  seeing  the 
earnestness  of  my  demeanour  and  the  marks  of 
labour  I  bore  on  me,  he  granted  my  request.  So 
that  evening,  when  we  had  landed  on  an  isle 
to  pass  the  night,  he  took  me  apart  into  a  woody 
place  and  asked  for  my  tale. 

I  told  him  as  well  as  I  could  of  my  wound  in 
the  forest,  of  its  cure,  and  the  journey  to  the  gap 
of  the  hills.  Then  I  spoke  of  Manoa  so  far  as 
my  poor  words  could  envisage  such  a  marvel. 
The  Admiral  heard  me  with  eager  eyes. 

"  You  saw  it,  my  brave  Nathan  ?  But  that 
is  what  no  Spaniard  these  fifty  years  hath  done  ! " 

"  Ay,  but  I  saw  it  from  a  mountain-top,  and 
I  saw  no  way  to  enter." 

"  Cliffs  can  be  scaled,"  said  he  ;    "  and  if  there 

MANOA   THE    GOLDEN.  103 

be  another  ingress,  it  will  be  found.  The  great 
matter  is  that  the  City  is  there,  and  can  be 
viewed  in  two  days'  march  into  the  land  of  the 
Epimureans.  It  needs  but  a  man  skilled  in 
travel  to  chart  the  valley,  and  discover  where  the 
river  you  speak  of  leaves  it.  What  the  Spaniard 
Martinez  could  do  is  not  beyond  the  range  of 

Then  he  fell  to  questioning  me  about  small 
particulars,  being  very  curious  about  the  islands 
in  the  lake  and  the  great  white  palace  or  temple 
which  commanded  the  City.  He  wrote  down 
in  a  book  what  I  had  to  tell  him,  and  made  a 
chart  of  the  place  and  the  way  thereto.  He  was 
warm  in  his  commendation.  "  When  we  return," 
he  says,  "you  shall  lead  the  advance,  Nathan.  As 
you  were  the  first  to  see  the  City,  so  you  shall 
be  the  first  of  the  English  to  tread  its  streets." 

"  Your  pardon,  sir,"  said  I,  "  but  these  same 
streets  I  will  never  tread." 

And  when  he  asked  my  meaning,  I  up  and 
spoke  what  was  in  my  heart. 

"  I  am  a  man  of  blood  and  guile,"  I  said, 
"  whose  life  has  been  spent  in  pursuits  the  most 

io4          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

conducing  to  these  faults.  But  all  the  while  I 
have  a  proper  notion  of  virtue,  and  I  would  not 
sin  against  God's  plain  command.  That  City, 
I  take  it,  is  as  Eden  before  our  father  Adam 
sinned.  I  know  not  whether  the  folk  who  dwell 
in  it  be  Christians  after  our  meaning  ;  but  of 
this  I  am  sure,  that  in  very  truth  they  worship 
God.  That  valley  is  like  Paradise  for  peace. 
The  sight  of  it  clouds  the  senses  and  makes  the 
heart  sore  as  a  man's  heart  is  sore  for  the  home 
of  his  childhood.  For  us  men  of  blood  to  enter 
the  place  would  be  great  sin.  I  will  have  no 
part  in  violating  so  holy  a  shrine.  We  go  to 
offer  an  alliance  to  the  Grand  Inca.  But  what 
need  has  he  of  an  alliance  when  God's  cherubim 
are  on  his  side  ?  If  we  fought  and  won,  the  gold 
and  jewels  would  be  our  plunder.  And  the  City 
would  be  the  quarry  of  every  ruffian  from  the 
four  corners  of  earth.  'Twould  be  the  offence 
against  the  Holy  Ghost,  and,  sinful  man  though 
I  be,  I  will  have  no  hand  in  it." 

The  Admiral  watched  me  curiously,  and  nar- 
rowed his  eyes  as  if  in  thought. 

"  You  say  the  priest  gave  you  a  drug  to  heal 

MANOA    THE    GOLDEN.  105 

your  wound.  May  it  not  be  that  the  City  you 
saw  was  a  dream  ? " 

"  Nay,  it  could  not  be,"  said  I.  "  There  is 
no  drug  would  set  a  man  shivering  on  a  rock 
with  a  storm  behind  him  and  the  New  Jerusalem 
at  his  feet." 

"Then,  Nathan,  'tis  like  the  lost  Atlantis," 
he  said  musingly.  "'Tis  a  City  not  of  Time 
but  of  Eternity." 

He  opened  his  doublet  and  showed  a  jewel  of 
gold  which  hung  by  a  cord  around  his  neck.* 
"  That,"  said  he,  "  is  the  badge  of  my  quest  for 
the  Golden  City.  He  who  gave  it  me  sought 
for  it  all  his  days,  and,  like  you,  saw  it  but  from 
a  hill-top.  I  cannot  draw  back  from  the  search. 
But  I  think  that  when  I  go  I  will  go  alone." 

After  that  we  spoke  no  more  of  the  business. 
I  kept  my  own  counsel,  and  the  Admiral  gave 
out  to  the  others  that  I  had  found  a  certain  way 
to  Manoa,  but  had  been  held  back  from  going 
further  by  shortness  of  time  and  his  express 
commands.  Amias  Thyn,  to  be  sure,  told  mar- 

*  See  Chapter  I. 

106         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

vellous  tales  to  his  comrades,  but  he  was  so 
confused  in  his  speech  that  he  had  no  credence. 
Indeed  the  rumour  spread  that  he  had  never 
ventured  beyond  the  Indian  town,  but  had  lain 
there  for  a  fortnight  incontinently  drunk.  .  .  . 

Chapter  V. 

"  Why,  truly,  your  great  enemy  is  the  Spaniard.  He  is  a  natural  enemy 
...  by  reason  of  the  enmity  that  is  in  him  against  whatsoever  is  of  God.  .  .  . 
And  the  Spaniard  is  not  only  our  enemy  accidentally,  but  he  is  providentially 
so ;  God  having  in  His  wisdom  disposed  it  to  be,  when  we  made  a  break  with 
the  Spanish  nation  long  ago." 

— Oliver  Crom-welfs  speech  to  his  Second  Parliament,  September  17,  1659. 




T  . 

Chapter  V. 



.   .   .   T   HAVE  seen  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  but  the 
two  times  in  my  life,  and  this  was  the 
way  of  them  .   .   . 

One  May  morning  in  the  year  1596  I  rode 
into  the  yard  of  the  Bell  Inn  at  Shorne  in 
Kent,  and  bade  the  potman  bring  me  a  tankard 
of  small  ale,  for  I  had  broken  my  fast  early. 
'Twas  a  chill  morning,  with  flying  showers  of 
rain,  and  my  horse  was  mired  to  the  saddle  girths. 
Presently  there  entered  a  seaman  with  a  scarlet 
face,  as  if  he  had  run  fast  and  far,  and  on  his 
heels  a  gentleman,  all  muddied  with  travel.  The 
seaman  shouted  to  the  host  to  know  if  any 

*  The  story  of  Sir  Adam  Bontier,  a  gentleman  adventurer  with  the  fleet  of 
Essex.  Sir  Adam,  being  taken  prisoner  later  by  the  Spaniards  at  Cartagena, 
told  the  tale  to  a  Dominican  friar,  Jordanus,  who  left  the  record  in  monkish 
Latin  in  his  monastery  of  Candelaria  in  Teneriffe.  It  was  deciphered  the 
other  day  by  a  Spanish  geographer,  and  I  have  freely  adapted  it. 

io8         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

mariners  had  been  to  the  tavern  that  morn  ;  and 
being  told  no,  set  off  again  at  a  run  for  the 
next  alehouse.  I  could  not  but  observe  the 
gentleman,  a  tall  man  of  noble  carriage  and  a 
dress  too  rich  for  our  country  byways.  He  bade 
the  seaman  complete  his  tale  of  the  taverns  and 
return  to  him  with  a  report,  while  he  sate  himself 
on  a  bench  and,  like  me,  called  for  ale.  He 
had  an  air  of  weariness  and  perturbation,  but  his 
eyes  were  masterful  and  his  mouth  had  a  hint  of 
humour.  Indeed,  as  he  sate  himself  on  the 
bench  and  watched  his  lieutenant  trotting  out  of 
the  yard,  he  laughed  outright. 

"  Your  servant,  sir,"  I  said.  "  You  are  early 

He  looked  at  me  very  pleasantly.  "  My 
friend,"  said  he,  "  I  know  not  your  name,  but  if 
you  have  any  knowledge  of  the  sea,  you  will 
grant  that  a  man  must  rise  early  to  outwit  the 
absconding  mariner." 

"  Why,  for  the  matter  of  that,"  I  answered, 
"  I  have  had  some  small  trouble  of  my  own  in 
the  same  quarter.  I  had  much  to  do  with  the 
manning  of  certain  ships  against  King  Philip's 

CADIZ    BAR.  109 

Armada,  and  that  was  a  business  to  whiten  a 
man's  hair." 

He  nodded  approvingly.  "  Since  you  have 
served  your  Queen,  you  will  have  a  fellow-feeling 
for  the  trials  of  a  campaigner.  Whew  !  I  have 
the  thirst  of  all  the  Guianas." 

"  You  are  with  the  fleet  at  Gravesend  ? '  I 

"  For  my  sins,"  said  he,  "  I  am  by  Her  Majesty's 
command  the  Rear-Admiral  of  Her  Majesty's 
Spanish  Fleet." 

I  rose,  doffed  my  hat,  and  bowed  low.  For  I 
knew  that  I  was  in  the  presence  of  Sir  Walter 
Raleigh.  He  nodded  and  smiled. 

"  I  say  '  for  my  sins,'  for  my  rear-guard  should 
have  been  at  sea  a  week  ago.  Instead  of  which 
my  ships  rot  in  the  Thames,  and  I  spend  my 
days  hunting  mariners  through  miry  lanes.  A 
thing  to  try  hard  a  man's  Christianity  !  But 
what  do  you  here?"  he  asked. 

I  told  my  name  and  designation,  adding  that  I 
had  fought  somewhat  in  Europe,  and  was  but 
three  months  returned  from  campaigning  in  the 
Low  Countries  with  Sir  Francis  Vere, 

no          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

"  You  would  rest  at  home,"  and  his  eyebrows 
ran  upward,  "  while  the  Spaniard  holds  Calais  ?  " 

"  Nay,  sir,"  I  cried.  "  I  do  but  wait  on  my 
chance.  I  am  ripe  for  another  venture,  but  I  am 
delayed  and  distracted  by  those  who  order  affairs. 
I  have  offered  my  services  a  dozen  times,  but  I  am 
but  a  humble  squire  and  can  get  no  satisfaction." 

He  reached  out  a  hand  for  mine. 

"  You  shall  fight  with  us,  good  sir.  Never 
fear.  And  I  have  that  to  tell  you  which  will  set 
an  edge  on  your  valour.  ...  His  God  hath 
called  for  Sir  Francis  Drake." 

The  news  took  the  breath  from  me.  We 
were  hourly  waiting  to  hear  that  that  grim  sea- 
captain  had  sacked  Panama  and  laid  hands  on  all 
the  Isthmus.  I  could  only  look  with  awe  at 
Sir  Walter's  heavy  countenance,  and  stammer 
"  Where  ?  "  and  "  When  ?  " 

"  A  post  reached  me  this  morn  from  the 
Queen  herself.  He  lies  far  off  in  Porto  Bello 
beneath  some  great  wave.  'Tis  all  over  now 
with  the  English  expedition.  It  must  return 
leaderless,  and  we  must  strike  at  the  Spaniard 
elsewhere.  But,  mark  you,  there  is  no  news  on 

CADIZ    BAR.  in 

earth  will  so  put  heart  into  Rome  and  Spain. 
They  feared  Frankie  as  if  he  were  the  devil. 
Without  him  they  will  deem  us  no  better  than 
masterless  men.  'Tis  to  disperse  that  dream  that 
you  and  I  go  forth,  Sir  Adam." 

I  was  so  eager  that  I  could  scarce  muster 
words.  "  You  will  take  me  with  you,  sir  ? "  I  said. 

He  wrinkled  his  brows  in  thought.  "  Nay, 
not  with  me.  We  are  all  seamen,  and  our  task 
will  be  plain  seacraft.  You  are  soldier-bred,  and 
your  place  is  with  the  land  force  under  my  lord 
Essex.  I  will  give  you  a  letter  to  my  lord,  who 
will  receive  you  gladly,  for  he  loves  me,  and  has 
an  eye  for  a  proper  young  man.  The  Lord 
High  Admiral  is  by  this  time  at  Plymouth,  and 
with  him  my  fellow  in  the  rear-guard,  Lord 
Thomas  Howard.  My  lord  Essex  joins  them 
there.  And  when  I  have  writ  a  letter,  'tis  for 
you  to  post  thither  without  loss  of  an  hour. 
With  a  fair  wind  they  may  sail  any  day,  and 
suffer  me  to  follow  when  I  have  gotten  in  my 

The  lieutenant  entered,  redder  than  before,  but 
with  a  gleam  of  satisfaction  in  his  fiery  eye. 

ii2          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

"  I  have  laid  hands  on  two,  sir,"  he  cried, 
"  and  the  guard  has  'em  on  the  road  to  the  water. 
There  is  tidings  that  five  more  of  'em  lie  drunk 
at  Saxeleigh." 

Sir  Walter  had  written  me  a  letter,  using  his 
own  tablets,  and  ink  from  a  horn  fetched  by  the 
host  of  the  tavern.  He  sealed  it  with  his  signet 
ring,  and  gave  it  into  my  hands. 

"  Now,  Sir  Adam,  ride — ride  for  your  life  ! 
We  shall  meet  in  a  week  or  more." 

"  Where  ?  "  I  asked,  for  I  knew  nought  of  the 
destination  of  the  fleet. 

"  That  is  a  secret,"  he  said,  laughing,  "  but  I 
will  give  you  a  clue.  We  follow  in  the  footsteps 
of  Sir  Francis  Drake." 

Then  I  knew  that  'twas  against  Cadiz  we 
sailed.  I  was  confirmed  by  his  crying  after  me, 
"  Farewell,  Septimi,  Gadis  aditure  mecum." 

This  was  the  way  of  my  second  meeting. 

About  noon  of  Sunday,  the  2oth  of  June,  I 
was  with  my  lord  Essex  in  his  ship  the  Due 
Repulse  in  the  squadron  of  which  my  former 
General,  Sir  Francis  Vere,  was  Vice-Admiral. 
A  great  dispute  had  arisen  among  the  Admirals 

CADIZ    BAR.  113 

as  to  the  attack  upon  the  galleons  in  the  inner 
harbour  of  Cadiz,  the  Lord  High  Admiral  main- 
taining that  'twas  needful  first  to  silence  the 
shore  forts  with  a  land  attack,  while  my  lord 
Essex  held  that,  with  a  fine  stern  breeze  blowing, 
'twas  our  business  to  proceed  forthwith  against 
the  ships.  There  was  a  great  sea  rolling  in  from 
the  outer  ocean,  and  we  tossed  uneasily  at  anchor 
while  we  endeavoured  to  land  our  footmen  on 
a  rocky  beach  where  the  surf  broke  heavily. 
Already  the  long-boat  of  Sir  Francis  Vere's 
Rainbow  had  been  swamped,  and  fifteen  stout 
fellows  drowned.  My  lord  Essex  paced  the 
deck,  tugging  at  his  beard,  very  fretful  at  the 
delay  and  the  plan  of  which  he  little  approved. 
Presently,  as  I  stood  near  him,  we  saw  in  the 
hollow  of  the  waves  a  cock-boat,  rowed  by  two 
seamen,  with  a  gentleman  aboard  her. 

"  What  madman  takes  the  water  in  that  nut- 
shell? "  I  asked,  when  my  lord  gave  a  cry  of  joy 
and  ran  to  the  bulwarks. 

Then  I  saw  that  the  madman  was  no  less  than 
Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  the  Vice-Admiral,  who  had 
gone  to  the  inshore  station  the  night  before  in 

(1,562)  8 

ii4          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

his  ship,  the  Warspite.  He  greeted  my  lord  with 
a  wave  of  his  hat,  and  the  next  moment  we  had 
thrown  him  a  rope,  and  he  had  clambered  on 
deck  as  lightly  as  a  squirrel,  while  the  cock-boat 
was  made  fast  below. 

"  What  folly  is  to  the  fore,  my  lord  ? "  he 
cried.  "  You  are  landing  men  on  an  iron  coast, 
while  God  has  sent  us  a  fresh  wind  to  bear  down 
the  galleons.  They  lie  packed  like  pilchards  in 
the  inner  harbour,  hungering  for  shot.  The  four 
Apostles  are  there,  and  with  two  of  them,  the 
Philip  and  the  Andrew^  I  have  a  score  to  settle 
for  Dick  Grenville's  sake.  Likewise,  there  is  the 
Flota  of  the  Indies,  and  the  carracks  of  New 
Mexico.  What  tarry  we  for  ? ' 

My  lord  said  moodily  that  'twas  the  decision 
of  the  Lord  High  Admiral  and  the  Council. 

"  Then  I  go  to  reverse  the  decision,"  said  he, 
and  moved  to  the  bulwarks. 

"Stop,  Sir  Walter,"  my  lord  cried.  "  Tis 
not  fitting  to  discuss  what  the  Council  has 

"  Was  it  your  will,  my  lord  ? '  asked  Sir 
Walter.  "  No.  And  judging  by  the  wind  He 

CADIZ    BAR.  115 

hath  sent,  'tis  no  more  the  will  of  God.  I  go  to 
talk  with  the  Lord  High  Admiral." 

My  lord  would  have  stayed  him,  but  he  was 
gone.  He  swung  himself  into  the  cock-boat, 
and  the  next  minute  was  hid  in  the  trough  of  the 
great  green  billows.  My  lord  turned  to  me. 
"  There  goes  a  gallant  folly.  If  he  be  not 
swamped,  he  will  get  the  rough  side  of  my  lord 
Howard,  and  there  will  be  but  the  more  con- 
fusion. A  pest  upon  a  war  where  all  are 
generals ! '  And  he  took  again  to  his  striding 
upon  the  poop,  but  gave  orders  that  for  a  little 
the  landing  should  cease. 

In  about  an  hour  there  was  a  cry  from  the 
watchman  in  the  bows,  and  we  perceived  the 
cock-boat  returning.  The  tide  was  with  it,  and 
'twas  so  engulfed  in  water  that  I  looked  every 
minute  to  see  it  founder. 

"  'Tis  good  news,"  I  cried.  "  See  how  Sir 
Walter  waves  his  hand." 

We  lay  over  the  edge  while  the  boat  neared, 
and  there  was  no  mistaking  the  air  of  the  Admi- 
ral. He  was  steering,  not  for  us,  but  for  his  own 
squadron,  which  lay  further  within  the  harbour. 

n6          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

But  he  passed  us  at  some  fifty  paces,  and  I  could 
remark  the  exultation  in  his  face.  He  was  as 
soiled  and  draggled  with  the  sea  as  any  mortal 
I  have  ever  seen. 

He  looked  up  at  us,  and,  as  he  passed,  cried  but 
the  one  word  in  Spanish — "  Entramos."  Upon 
which  my  lord  Essex,  transported  with  delight, 
cut  a  step  on  the  deck,  and,  taking  his  plumed 
hat  from  his  head,  flung  it  into  the  sea  in  the 
direction  of  the  inner  harbour.  "Glory  to  God  ! ' 
he  cried ;  "  the  tide  will  carry  my  hat  to  the 
galleons  and  give  them  my  challenge." 

By  the  time  we  had  re-shipped  the  men  from 
the  shore  'twas  close  on  evening,  and,  though 
my  lord  would  have  pressed  on  forthwith,  like 
Francis  Drake,  in  the  darkness,  the  others  were 
for  waiting  till  daylight.  Sir  Walter  came 
aboard  to  sup  with  my  lord,  and  a  council  of 
war  was  held  in  the  cabin  of  the  Rainbow.  I 
learned  later  that  after  much  wrangling  Sir 
Walter  was  appointed  to  lead  the  van  with  seven 
ships  of  battle — his  own  Warspite^  my  lord's  Rain- 
bow,  the  Mary  Rose,  the  Lion,  the  Siviftsure,  the 

CADIZ    BAR.  117 

Dreadnought ',  and  the  Nonpareil.  As  these  were 
the  lighter  vessels,  they  were  deemed  fittest  to 
come  to  grips  with  the  galleons  in  the  shallow 
water,  while  my  lord  Essex  and  the  Lord 
Admiral  commanded  the  greater  ships  of  the 
main  fleet. 

We  started  at  the  first  peep  of  day,  Sir  Walter 
having  the  lead  of  us.  I  remember  very  plain 
how  merrily  he  sailed  under  the  very  walls  of 
the  City,  while  the  forts  battered  him,  and 
the  galleys  ranged  alongside  shot  off  all  their 
pieces.  He  disdained  to  answer  them,  save  that 
at  each  cannonade  he  had  his  trumpets  sound 
a  blare.  But  the  others  of  our  fleet  were  less 
scornful,  and  the  galleys  were  driven  to  their 
oars  so  that  they  might  escape  into  the  straits 
of  the  inner  harbour  to  find  shelter  among  the 
great  galleons. 

Presently  he  was  within  reach  of  the  S.  Philip^ 
and  straightway  dropped  his  anchor.  The  Lord 
Admiral  had  ordered  him  not  to  lie  alongside, 
but  to  wait  for  fly-boats  before  he  boarded. 
There  was  too  little  depth  of  water  to  deploy 
into  line,  and  we  had  perforce  to  wait  for  the 

n8          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

flood-tide,  being  anchored  in  the  shape  of  a  great 
wedge,  of  which  Sir  Walter's  ship  was  the  point. 
For  three  hours  our  English  guns  played  mightily 
upon  the  Spaniards,  and  they  in  turn,  being 
armed  with  heavier  artillery,  replied  with  deadly 
hurt.  The  Warspite  was  shut  from  our  view  by 
clouds  of  smoke,  and  diademed  with  red  jewels  of 
fire.  'Twas  the  first  time  I  had  ever  faced  a 
sea-fight,  and  for  a  soldier  'twas  a  stern  trial. 
Here  was  no  breach  to  attack  or  enemy  to  regard  ; 
only  the  menace  of  countless  great  shot  pouring 
like  hail  from  an  abyss  of  smoke  and  flame.  We 
soldiers  could  but  stand  to  our  posts  on  deck, 
praying  that  the  hour  would  come  when  with 
cold  steel  we  might  make  return.  Some  of  us 
were  sore  wounded.  One  of  my  lord's  gentlemen 
had  his  arm  shot  off  at  the  shoulder,  and  I  saw  a 
seaman  laughing  one  second  and  the  next  a  head- 
less trunk.  All  the  while  the  flood-tide  was 
rising,  and,  being  lightly  anchored,  we  were 
drifting  nearer  to  the  galleons. 

After  an  eternity  of  waiting,  Sir  Walter  came 
to  us  in  a  skiff,  his  face  so  black  with  powder 
I  had  taken  him  for  a  negro.  He  implored  my 

CADIZ    BAR.  119 

lord  to  send  him  the  fly-boats,  for  without  them 
he  could  not  bring  the  fight  to  an  issue. 

"  Fly-boats  !  "  cried  my  lord.  "  I  would  give 
my  left  hand  for  the  sight  of  them.  There  has 
been  treason  in  this,  Sir  Walter,  or  else  my  lord 
Howard's  wits  have  gone  a-wandering." 

"  I  wait  no  'more  !  "  said  Sir  Walter,  getting 
aboard  his  skiff.  "  I  can  endure  this  battery  no 
longer.  If  we  wait  we  must  burn,  if  we  board 
we  may  sink,  and  either  fate  is  destruction. 
They  have  the  guns  of  us,  man — two  to  our  one. 
I  go  to  shake  hands  with  the  Philip,  and  shall  be 
aboard  her  before  the  Dons  can  cry  '•Santiago!'' 

Then  began  the  most  desperate  strife  I  have 
ever  witnessed.  For  between  Sir  Walter,  my 
lord  Essex,  and  my  lord  Thomas  there  was  a 
noble  rivalry  as  to  who  should  first  grapple  with 
the  galleons.  Indeed,  'twas  like  a  play  of  school- 
boys; for  my  lord  Thomas,  pressing  forward, 
would  have  drawn  his  ship  alongside  of  the 
Warspite,  but  Sir  Walter  cut  the  warp.  So  it 
came  that  the  Warspite  and  the  Swiftsure,  in 
which  ship  was  my  lord  Essex  and  myself, 
formed  the  van  of  our  English  line  at  the  mouth 

120         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

of    the     straits    into    which    the    galleons    were 

The  flow  of  the  tide  set  them  straining  on 
their  anchor-ropes,  so  that  they  leaned  over 
towards  the  shore.  Their  fire  was  slackening, 
for  with  the  list  of  their  hulls  the  great  guns  on 
their  upper  decks  shot  too  high,  and,  though 
they  cut  our  cordage  and  brought  down  our 
spars,  they  did  little  hurt  to  our  crews  or  men- 
at-arms.  I  remember  that  Sir  Walter  flung  a 
hawser,  so  that  he  might  warp  his  ship  along  of 
the  S.  Philip^  and  fast  as  the  rope  was  flung  the 
Spaniards  cast  it  loose,  and  heeded  not  our 
musket  fire.  There  was  a  window  of  a  poop 
cabin  where  grew  a  rose  in  a  pot,  a  strange  sight 
in  such  a  mist  of  terror.  With  every  motion  of 
the  galleon  the  little  flower  rocked,  so  that  I 
found  myself  waiting  on  its  fate,  oblivious  of 
what  was  a-doing  around  me.  Such  small  things 
will  hold  a  man's  regard  in  a  crisis,  and  to  me 
that  rose  was  the  gauge  of  our  toil.  If  it  fell,  I 
made  sure  that  the  Navy  of  Spain  was  conquered. 
A  hand  was  stretched  out  at  last  and  the  flower 
drawn  in  ;  and  at  the  same  moment  a  bullet 

CADIZ    BAR.  121 

grazed  my  right  ear,  causing  me  to  bleed  like 
a  stuck  pig.  Also  I  saw  Sir  Walter's  hawser 
fixed  at  last,  and  the  Warspite  begin  to  draw 
up  to  the  Philip. 

'Twas  the  turn  of  the  battle.  The  Spaniard 
had  no  heart  for  English  steel.  A  trumpet 
blared,  and  the  anchor-ropes  of  all  four  galleons 
were  cut.  They  set  in  to  the  shore  with  the 
tide  and  wind,  and  the  Warspite  was  like  to  have 
gone  with  them.  But,  seeing  the  peril,  one  of 
the  seamen  cut  the  warp  with  an  axe,  and  she 
rode  clear.  Then  ensued  a  horrid  and  amazing 
spectacle.  All  four  galleons  heeled  over  on  the 
mudbank,  and  from  ports  and  deck  men  were 
spewed  like  sea-coal  from  a  basket.  Many  were 
dying  of  wounds,  and  there  were  dead  men  that 
rolled  heavily  like  bales  into  the  sea.  The 
S.  Philip  and  S.  Thomas  caught  fire,  and  vented 
forth  great  belches  of  dark  smoke,  while  ever 
and  anon  a  keg  of  powder  would  explode  and 
shoot  red  flames  skyward.  We  on  the  Swiftsure 
were  scorched  with  the  heat,  and  choked  with 
the  fumes  of  it.  Sharpshooters  on  the  poop  of 
the  S.  Matthew  still  kept  up  a  deadly  fire,  while 


all  the  aim  of  our  fleet  was  to  capture  the 
grounded  galleons  which  were  yet  unburnt. 
There  was  no  sign  of  fly-boats,  and  we  could 
not  with  safety  urge  our  vessels  nearer  the  shore, 
so  we  must  take  to  the  pinnaces  and  long-boats 
and  row  through  the  reek  to  the  mudbank  where 
the  S.  Andrew  and  S.  Matthew  lay.  The  boats 
from  the  Warspite  were  there  before  us,  and  such 
a  confusion  began  that  if  any  had  desired  to  see 
Hell,  there  'twas  most  livelily  enfigured.  We 
set  parties  to  pick  up  such  of  the  Spaniards  in 
the  water  as  were  yet  alive,  and  would  doubtless 
have  saved  more  had  not  the  boats  from  the 
Flemish  ships  come  up  and  begun  an  accursed 
work  of  butchery.  Indeed  my  lord  Essex  bade 
us  fire  upon  that  rabble,  that  they  might  learn 
the  decencies  of  a  soldier's  trade. 

Sir  Walter  was  first  aboard  the  S.  Andrew^ 
being  eager  to  capture  the  galleon  that  had 
fought  with  Sir  Richard  Grenville's  Revenge. 
But  by  this  time  all  order  in  the  fight  had 
slackened,  and  those  who  had  not  swum  to  shore 
or  been  choked  in  the  mud  were  huddled  like 
limpets  on  the  steep-sloping  deck,  clinging  to 

CADIZ    BAR.  123 

cords  and  pins  and  whatever  might  give  them 
hold.  Yet  one  or  two  in  the  crosstrees  still  kept 
up  a  fire,  and  one  shot,  striking  on  deck,  played 
such  havoc  with  Sir  Walter's  leg  that  he  all  but 
rolled  into  the  sea.  I  chanced  to  be  at  his  side, 
and  gave  him  support,  but  'twas  a  horrid  wound, 
all  interlaced  with  splinters  of  wood.  Yet  so 
great  was  his  spirit  that  he  had  the  strength  to 
receive  the  submission  of  the  Spanish  Admiral 
before  he  swooned  in  my  arms. 

We  had  made  prize  of  two  galleons,  and  the 
others  were  but  shells  frizzling  to  the  water's 
edge.  I  carried  Sir  Walter  back  to  the  Warspite^ 
and  had  the  wound  dressed  with  such  rough 
chirurgery  as  availed  us.  He  was  in  a  fury  of 
impatience,  for  it  seemed  to  him  we  were  about 
to  lose  the  fruits  of  victory.  My  lord  Essex  had 
ordered  an  assault  upon  the  City  of  Cadiz  ;  but, 
said  Sir  Walter,  we  have  destroyed  the  City's 
defence,  and  'tis  like  a  ripe  plum  that  can  be 
plucked  at  will.  A  city  cannot  flee,  but  ships 
can,  and  beyond  the  Puntal  Channel  was  the 
Indian  Flota,  laden  with  the  tribute  of  the  West. 
If  we  took  it  not  now,  he  held  it  would  escape 

i24         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

us  by  the  narrow  channel  to  the  south,  so  soon 
as  the  tide  allowed,  and  be  in  some  safe  port  by 
the  evening.  He  sent  messengers  to  the  Lord 
High  Admiral  and  my  lord  Thomas  and  my  lord 
Essex,  but  the  mind  of  the  Council  was  set  on 
sacking  the  City.  'Tis  a  malady  that  burns 
strong  in  a  man  after  a  bloody  fight,  as  I  have 
witnessed  in  the  Low  Countries.  They  sent 
back  civil  words  about  his  wound,  and  bade  him 
consider  his  health  and  his  value  to  Her  Majesty. 

Whereupon  Sir  Walter  fumed  himself  into  a 
fever.  "  There  is  naught  for  it,  Sir  Adam,"  he 
said,  "  but  that  you  and  I  should  go  alone.  I 
will  take  twenty-five  men-at-arms  and  a  score  of 
sailors.  The  Flota  will  be  but  a  lame  duck  now 
that  it  has  lost  its  defenders.  We  will  ship  our- 
selves in  pinnaces,  and  trust  to  God  to  give  us 
the  wealth  of  New  Spain.  'Tis  the  Guiana 
voyage  repeated." 

I  implored  him  to  respect  his  weakness,  but 
he  would  take  no  denial.  He  gave  the  orders, 
and  in  an  hour's  time  we  were  embarked  in  the 
boats,  while  from  the  shore  came  the  first 
thunder  of  the  great  guns  in  my  lords'  assault 

CADIZ    BAR.  125 

on  the  City.  That  harbour  was  as  strange  a 
place  as  I  have  ever  seen.  Well  might  it  have 
been  called  the  Spaniards'  Graveyard.  For  the 
dead  floated  everywhere,  and  the  wreckage  of 
ships,  blackened  with  fire  and  reddened  with 
men's  blood.  It  was  silent,  too,  for  the  captured 
galleons  had  been  towed  off,  the  lighter  Spanish 
ships  had  fled  inward,  and  there  was  no  sound 
save  the  seagulls  and  a  last  spluttering  of  flames 
from  the  hulls  of  the  S.  Philip  and  S.  Thomas. 
I  remember  that  I  wondered  what  had  befallen 
the  little  rose-plant  in  the  pot.  .  .  . 

We  were  not  opposed,  save  for  some  stray 
shots  from  the  land,  till  we  had  gone  through 
half  the  channel.  Then  beyond  us  we  saw  the 
tall  masts  of  the  Flota,  and  in  front  an  array  of 
galleys,  the  same  which  Sir  Walter  had  saluted 
with  his  trumpets  below  the  forts  of  the  City. 
At  the  sight  of  them  we  let  out  a  cheer,  and  our 
fellows  bent  fiercely  to  the  sweeps. 

"Tis  the  Plate  Fleet,"  Sir  Walter  cried. 
"  One  more  tussle,  lads,  and  we  have  our  hands 
on  the  treasury  of  Spain." 

'Tis  hard  to  stand  against  one  who  is  newly 

126         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

victor,  and  'tis  doubly  hard,  if  you  be  the  keeper 
of  treasure,  to  withstand  a  victor  who  burns  for 
it.  The  sight  of  our  grim  faces  sent  half  of  the 
crews  of  the  galleys  overboard.  There  were 
some  that  kept  their  places,  and  we  had  two  men 
slain  in  the  first  boat ;  but  the  galley  crews  were 
rebelling,  and  had  out  their  sweeps  even  against 
the  will  of  the  soldiers,  who  would  have  fought. 
There  was  no  need  to  board.  Such  galleys  as 
did  not  flee  before  us  were  emptied  of  men,  so 
that  'twas  like  sailing  through  a  woodyard. 
"  Twenty  strokes,  lads,"  Sir  Walter  cried,  "  and 
we  are  at  the  gold." 

Then  that  happened  which  rebuffed  our  hopes, 
but  did  great  honour  to  the  Spanish  nation.     One 


instant  we  were  looking  at  the  Flota,  with  men  on 
every  deck  ;  and  the  next  the  great  ships  seemed 
to  fly  asunder  in  a  dazzle  of  light.  The  heavens 
were  torn  with  the  crash  of  it,  and  we  of  the  boats 
crouched  in  the  bottoms,  expecting  momentarily 
to  be  engulfed.  Some  timbers  did  indeed  strike 
us,  and  there  were  men  bruised  and  wounded  ;  but, 
mercifully,  we  had  not  advanced  near  enough  to 
suffer  heavily  either  from  the  rubbish  or  the  swirl 

CADIZ    BAR.  127 

of  the  water  over  the  sinking  ships.  The  Spanish 
gunners  had  done  their  work  well.  When  the 
air  cleared,  we  sat  moodily  at  our  thwarts,  rubbing 
our  eyes  and  gazing  into  the  sea  which  held  the 
dust  of  a  Navy.  Far  off  we  saw  certain  of  the 


galleys  fleeing  to  a  south  port. 

Sir  Walter's  complexion  changed  from  wrath 
to  a  sudden  humour.  He  took  off  his  hat  and 
saluted  the  empty  channel. 

"  Twelve  million  gold  ducats,"  he  said,  "  gone 
to  the  congers — and  God  knows  how  many 
human  souls.  They  have  learned  Dick  Gren- 
ville's  lesson.  I  love  not  Spaniards  in  life,  but 
some  have  a  pretty  notion  how  to  die." 

Chapter   VI. 
NEW   TIMES;    NEW    MEN. 

"  O  what  a  noble  mind  is  here  o'erthrown  ! 
The  courtier's,  soldier's,  scholar's  eye,  tongue,  sword, 
The  expectancy  and  rose  of  the  fair  state  .   .  . 
The  observed  of  all  observers,  quite,  quite  down  !  " 

Hamlet  III.  i.  159-162. 






'    I 

Chapter   VI, 

NEW   TIMES;    NEW   MEN.* 

bitter  evening  in  the  third  week  before 
Christmas,  having  finished  my  comments  on 
the  case  Doe  against  Thomas  Altwhistle  for  my 
master,  Mr.  Serjeant  Jodrell,  I  bethought  myself 
of  the  need  of  supper.  My  lodgings  above 
Middle  Temple  Lane  were  grown  mortal  chilly, 
and  the  single  lamp  by  which  I  pursued  my 
toil  had  turned  so  smoky  and  foul  that  'twas 
worse  than  a  farthing  dip.  My  former  servant 
was  dead  of  the  Plague,  and  I  had  to  make  shift 
with  a  wastrel  out  of  Whitefriars,  who  mulcted 
me  grossly  and  gave  me  small  comfort.  'Twas 
the  night  for  a  tavern,  and  my  thoughts  dwelt 
lovingly  on  the  roaring  wood-fires  and  the  ex- 
cellent mulled  ale  of  Gilpin's  in  Fetter  Lane. 

*  From  the  Memoirs  of  Philip  Benedict,  Esquire,  of  the  Middle  Temple ; 

afterwards  a  Judge  of  His  Majesty's  Court  of  Common  Pleas, 
(1,562)  "  9 

1 3o         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

I  went  forth  about  six  o'clock  into  a  town 
which  lay  still  as  death  under  the  stricture  of 
a  great  frost.  It  had  been  such  a  winter  as  no 
living  man  remembered.  A  weeping  summer  had 
wakened  the  Plague,  and  in  each  week  of  Sep- 
tember over  two  thousand  died.  Then  had  come 
an  autumn  of  roaring  gales,  which  purged  the 
infection  but  slew  the  frail  by  scores.  To  this 
had  followed  a  binding  frost,  so  that  ice  crackled 
on  the  edge  of  the  salt  tides,  and  beer  was  frozen 
in  jugs,  and  a  man  had  much  ado  to  keep  the 
blood  flowing  in  his  veins.  Also  the  land  was  dis- 
turbed by  treasons,  and  tales  of  Spanish  invasions, 
and  Scottish  tumults.  There  had  been  the  treason 
of  the  Bye,  as  it  was  called,  for  which  the  priests 
Watson  and  Clarke  and  my  lord  Grey  of  Wilton 
had  been  condemned,  and  the  treason  of  the  Main, 
for  which  my  lord  Cobham  and  Sir  Walter  Raleigh 
were  to  suffer  death.  For  myself,  I  could  make 
no  meaning  out  of  it  all.  There  were  some  said 
that  the  aim  was  to  bring  the  lady  Arabella 
Stuart  to  the  throne,  and  some  the  Infanta  of 
Spain  ;  but  'twas  generally  agreed  that  the 
Popish  religion  was  to  be  set  up  and  Protestant 

NEW    TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        131 

heads  to  tumble.  At  any  rate,  the  priests  had 
died  a  month  ago,  and  this  very  day  at  Win- 
chester the  axe  was  to  fall  upon  Sir  Walter  and 
the  lords  Grey  and  Cobham.  I  did  not  sorrow 
for  their  fate  save  that  I  had  heard  Raleigh 
highly  reported  of  as  a  wit,  and  I  had  some 
regret  that  great  parts  and  dishonesty  should  be 
so  conjoined. 

I  found  my  seat  by  the  fire  at  Gilpin's,  and 
when  I  had  turned  the  edge  of  my  hunger  took 
leisure  to  survey  the  company.  There  was  a 
lawyer  of  Gray's  Inn,  whom  I  knew  and  liked 
little  —  a  jackal  of  the  King's  attorney,  Sir 
Edward  Coke,  who  had  learned  the  ill  tongue 
of  his  master.  There  were  several  merchants 
of  the  City,  notably  Alderman  Killigrew,  whose 
voice  was  the  loudest  on  earth,  and  Master 
Milliard,  a  man  reputed  of  vast  wealth,  whose 
ships  plied  between  Limehouse  and  the  Low 
Countries.  There  was  a  countryman  or  two, 
come  up  to  Smithfield  for  the  winter  markets, 
and  two  men  whom  from  their  dress  1  judged 
to  have  travelled  far.  One  was  clearly  a  gentle- 
man, though  his  face  was  browned  like  a 

132         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

shepherd's,  and  the  other  a  great  broad  man 
with  a  fierce  beard  on  his  upper  lip  and  the 
sharp  blue  eyes  of  the  mariner. 

The  tavern  of  late  had  been  filled  with  talk  of 
treason  and  abuse  of  the  traitors,  and  the  Alder- 
man was  loud  in  the  matter.  The  King  had 
no  more  zealous  friend  than  this  haberdasher 
of  Cheapside,  and  to  listen  to  him  you  would 
have  thought  that  he  sat  at  the  least  on  His 
Majesty's  Council.  He  narrated  the  late  lament- 
able plots,  and  was  especially  bitter  against  Sir 
Walter  Raleigh.  I  questioned  him,  and  he 
answered  that  the  reason  of  his  hate  was  two- 
fold :  this  Raleigh's  treatment  of  my  lord  Essex, 
and  his  harshness  with  unlicensed  adventurers 
who  had  infringed  the  Virginian  monopoly.  It 
seemed  that  Master  Killigrew  had  been  laid  by 
the  heels  under  a  warrant  of  Council  for  import- 
ing sassafras  against  the  monopoly,  and  thereby 
lowering  the  market  price.  His  wares  were 
seized,  and  he  was  mulcted  in  a  fine,  and  when 
he  sought  mercy  from  Sir  Walter  he  was  sent 
packing  with  little  comfort.  The  thought  made 
him  choke  with  gall 

NEW    TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        133 

"  Ay,  sirs,  he  scorned  me — me,  the  Master  of 
the  Worshipful  Company  of  Brazenfaces,  and.  by 
God's  grace  within  seven  years  Lord  Mayor  of 
London.  This  scorner  of  God  and  true  religion 
raised  a  sacrilegious  foot  against  my  quarters. 
I  could  not  abide  his  choleric  eye.  But  Heaven 
has  granted  me  vengeance.  I  saw  him  on  the 
27th  day  of  October  being  carried  by  Richmond 
in  a  coach  with  the  King's  officers.  There 
was  such  a  crowd  that  the  horses  could  scarce 
win  their  way.  I  saw  many  of  my  worshipful 
friends,  and  honest  prentice  lads  with  their 
staves,  and  scores  of  hearty  citizens  come  out 
to  cry  against  treason.  When  he  came,  this 
Raleigh,  this  Court  popinjay  and  silken  deceiver, 
with  his  proud  eyes  and  his  hand  ever  on  sword 
— Ods,  masters,  but  it  was  a  noble  sight  ! 
You  could  scarce  prevent  the  good  folk  from 
tearing  him  asunder.  They  shouted  out  their 
threats,  and  flung  pipe-stems  and  stones  and 
mud.  'Twas  the  vengeance  of  the  people,  all 
done  in  honesty  and  good  reason,  seeing  as  they 
were  but  the  instruments  of  the  Almighty's 
wrath.  I  marked  the  mien  of  the  crowd  and 

134         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

there  was  no  foolish  tumult,  but  a  grave  resolu- 
tion. 'Twas  both  mild  and  awful." 

"  Mud  and  offal,"  said  Master  Hilliard  very 

The  Alderman  swung  round  as  he  had  been 
stung.  But  before  he  could  speak,  the  broad 
sailorman  got  up,  and,  pulling  his  forelock 
politely,  says,  "  Did  I  hear,  sir,  as  how  stones 
and  pipe-sticks  were  flung  at  Sir  Walter  ?  I 
pray  you  for  the  names  of  those  as  done  it,  for 
Nathan  Stubbs*  would  like  to  have  some  manner 
o'  talk  with  them." 

The  Alderman  looked  darkly  at  the  speaker, 
for  he  did  not  follow  his  West  Country  speech. 
On  Master  Hilliard  he  turned  fiercely. 

"  You  defend  the  traitor  !  "  he  cried,  "  against 
the  righteous  wrath  of  the  people  ? ' 

"  I  defend  a  great  man  against  a  rabble,"  says 
Master  Hilliard.  "  Sir  Walter  has  broken  my 
head  ere  now  for  my  ventures  when  they  ran 
counter  to  his  own,  but  he  would  ever  protect 
England  and  the  merchants  of  England  against 
the  common  foe.  Why,  'twas  this  Raleigh  that 

*  See  Chap.  IV. 

NEW   TIMES;    NEW    MEN.       135 

kept  the  narrow  seas  clear  for  us  venturers  and 
wrung  gold  out  of  a  stone  to  pay  for  war-ships." 

"  He  was  a  monopolist,"  said  the  Alderman, 
shaking  his  head  like  a  sick  dog.  "  And  he 
loved  war  and  display  and  the  things  that  beggar 

Master  Hilliard  laughed  loud  as  he  rilled  the 
bowl  of  his  pipe  with  tobacco.  "  Tell  that 
to  your  Brazenfaces  at  their  next  sederunt. 
Why,  man,  but  for  this  Raleigh  you  and  your 
like  would  have  the  Dons'  swords  pricking  your 
fat  sides  till  you  gave  up  your  crowns  and 
mumbled  paternosters.  Some  day,  when  you 
hear  the  enemy's  guns  booming  in  the  Thames, 
you  will  repent  of  your  folly,  and  sigh  for  the 
man  who  kept  your  coasts." 

"  I  liked  him  little,"  said  Gilpin,  the  host,  who 
was  carving  a  sirloin.  "  He  was  no  trencherman, 
and  would  not  drink  good  liquor  when  he  was  in 
the  way  of  it." 

One  of  the  countrymen  took  his  mouth  out  of 
a  pint  pot.  "  Rawley  !  "  he  cried  in  his  broad 
Leicestershire  tongue.  "  He  was  a  good  friend 
to  us  graziers.  I  mind  two  years  ago,  when  Her 

136         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Majesty,  God  rest  her,  would  have  passed  an  Act 
to  make  every  man  plough  a  third  of  his  land, 
this  Rawley  up  in  Parliament  and  spoke  against 
it.  '  I  do  not  like,'  he  says — and  I  cherish  his 
words — '  this  constraining  of  men  to  use  their 
ground  at  our  wills  ;  but  rather  that  every  man 
use  his  ground  to  that  which  it  is  most  fit  for, 
and  therein  use  his  own  discretion.'  God's  truth, 
thinks  I,  for  I  will  earn  twenty  crowns  a  year  off 
pasturing  beasts  when  I  would  lose  ten  if  I 
ploughed  the  acres.  Here's  to  Rawley 's  health, 
wherever  he  be  ! ' 

The  seaman  was  still  at  the  Alderman,  pulling 
his  lock  and  speaking  courteously.  "  Touching 
that  flinging  of  pipe-stems  at  Sir  Walter,"  he  was 
going  on,  when  the  gentleman  who  sat  beside 
him  pulled  him  down. 

"  Tush,  Nathan,  you  will  get  no  satisfaction 
out  of  that  ox."  Then,  "  Gentlemen  all,"  he 
says,  looking  round  the  company,  "  Sir  Walter 
Raleigh,  who  is  now  with  God,  was  my  very 
good  friend.  I  have  known  him  since  we  played 
together  in  boyhood,  and  I  will  uphold  that  the 
King  had  no  loyaller  servant  or  England  a  more 

NEW   TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        137 

valiant  lover.  I  impugn  not  the  justice  of  his 
sentence,  but  if  he  erred  'twas  unwittingly,  and 
this  day  he  hath  paid  the  extreme  penalty.  But 
one  thing  I  affirm,  and  will  maintain  it  with  my 
sword  :  When  the  King's  Attorney  said  he  had 
a  Spanish  heart  and  plotted  a  Spanish  invasion, 
the  King's  Attorney  most  foully  and  blackly  lied. 
Sir  Walter's  soul  ever  loathed  Spain  as  he  loved 

"  Treason  ! '  cried  the  shrill  voice  of  the 
Gray's  Inn  lawyer,  Cheape  by  name.  "He 
speaks  treason  against  the  King's  Attorney- 
General,  and  this  hath  been  held  no  less  than 
treason  against  the  King's  person.  'Twere  mis- 
prision  to  listen  calmly,  the  crime  for  which  the 
traitor  Raleigh  hath  this  day  died." 

"  Treason  !  "  cried  Alderman  Killigrew  in  his 
bellman's  voice. 

"  I  know  not  the  condition  of  the  protestants," 
said  the  gentleman  sweetly,  "  but  if  they  be 
gently  born  I  will  make  amends  for  my  words. 
I  am  Sir  John  Buller,*  a  knight  of  Devon,  and 
my  sword  is  at  their  service." 

*  See  Chap.  I. 

138         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Master  Cheape  was  a  man  of  peace,  and  he 
shrank  back  into  his  corner  and  blinked  his 

"  Nay,  no  offence,  sir,"  he  says  ;  "  but  I  must 
uphold  the  honour  of  my  great  master  and 
patron,  Sir  Edward  Coke.  He  has  riper  wisdom 
in  the  law  than  any  man  living,  and  he  deals  not 
in  idle  words.  He  proved  to  the  Court  that 
Raleigh  was  guilty  of  treason  on  five  counts  and 
of  misprision  on  three.  I  grant  you  that  on 
certain  points  he  had  but  the  one  witness,  but 
that  witness  was  my  lord  Cobham,  who  spoke 
against  interest  since  he  thereby  lost  his  own 
head.  Moreover,  as  I  will  show  by  the  Act  i 
and  2  Philip  and  Mary,  'tis  laid  down  that  in  a 
case  of  treason  one  witness  will  suffice,  and 
accordingly " 

But  he  got  no  further.  The  door  swung 
open,  and  there  entered  a  tall  man  in  long  boots 
and  riding  cloak,  whose  face  glowed  like  a  fire 
from  the  bitter  weather.  He  bowed  to  the  com- 
pany, and  called  for  mulled  wine  and  a  hot  pasty. 
There  was  that  in  his  voice  that  bespoke  the 
soldier,  and  his  restless  dark  eye  seemed  inured 

NEW    TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        139 

to  wars.  'Twas  unfortunate  for  the  Alderman 
that  he  chose  that  moment,  when  the  new- 
comer had  seated  himself,  to  begin  the  discourse 

"  True  law  and  good  law,  Master  Cheape,"  he 
said.  "  A  man  may  sleep  in  his  bed  while  the 
land  hath  Sir  Edward  Coke  as  a  faithful  watch- 
dog against  ravening  wolves.  It  stands  to  reason 
that  this  Raleigh  was  a  spy  of  Spain  ;  for  if  Spain 
be  an  enemy  of  England,  and  this  Raleigh  be  the 
enemy  of  the  King  and  his  Council,  therefore  by 
plain  logic  he  hath  a  Spanish  heart." 

I  was  watching  the  new-comer,  and  saw  his 
brows  lower.  He  stretched  a  long  arm  and 
caught  the  Alderman  by  the  neck. 

"  Recant  those  words,  fat  man,"  he  said,  while 
his  great  hand  swayed  the  head  back  and  forward 
like  a  puppet-doll.  "  I  have  sworn  to  suffer  no 
greasy  citizen  to  defile  that  name." 

"  Fetch  the  guard  !  "  cried  the  choking  Alder- 

"  Ay,  fetch  the  guard,"  said  the  soldier  ;  "  I 
will  fling  them  a  piece  of  dead  carrion  when 
they  come." 

1 40         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

'Twas  so  comic  a  sight  that  I  could  not  keep 
from  laughing ;  and  since  'twas  clear  that  the 
new-comer  was  doing  no  great  harm,  we  did  not 
stir  to  prevent  him.  The  Alderman  spluttered 
and  gurgled,  but,  seeing  no  better  way  of  it,  he 
stammered  a  withdrawal  and  was  released. 

"  What  comes  of  English  liberty,"  he  cried, 
valiant  as  ever,  when  he  had  gotten  to  the  far 
end  of  the  room,  "  if  a  man  cannot  speak  well  of 
the  law  of  the  land  without  being  throttled  by  a 
wandering  bully  ?  ' 

"  I  care  not  a  fig  for  English  liberty,"  the 
soldier  smiled.  "  But  I  will  let  no  gutter-blood 
spit  venom  on  a  fair  name.  The  law  hath  its 
own  defenders,  but  so  long  as  Gervase  Luttrell  * 
lives  he  will  defend  the  fame  of  the  great  Captain 
who  this  day  hath  declined  on  death." 

At  this  Sir  John  Buller  reached  his  hand  to 
him,  and  we  three  in  the  corner  by  the  fire  fell 
to  talking  very  pleasantly,  while  the  Alderman 
sulked,  the  seaman  smoked  his  pipe,  the  country- 
men drank  deep,  and  Master  Milliard  baited 
Master  Cheape.  The  landlord,  fearful  of  another 

*  See  Chap.  II. 

NEW    TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        141 

quarrel,  and  being  of  a  merry  disposition,  called 
for  a  song,  and  having  most  dread  of  the  soldier, 
pressed  him  for  a  catch. 

"  Nay,  friend,"  says  this  Captain  Luttrell,  "  I 
am  in  no  singing  mood.  This  day  I  have  lost 
a  friend  and  master.  I  ha'  come  post  haste 
from  Winchester,  for  I  could  not  bear  to  see 
the  axe  fall  on  that  noble  head.  I  waited  there 
after  the  trial,  hoping  to  have  speech  with  Sir 
Walter,  but  he  was  kept  too  close." 

"  You  were  at  the  trial,  sir  ? '    I  asked. 

The  soldier  nodded.  "  I  stood  in  the  crowd 
through  all  the  days  of  it.  You  must  know 
that  I  have  served  with  Sir  Walter,  both  long 
ago  in  the  Irish  Wars,  and  some  six  years  since 
in  the  fighting  in  the  Azores.  At  the  taking 
of  the  town  called  Villa  Dorta  I  marched  alone 
with  him  in  a  rain  of  shot,  while  my  knees 
gave  under  me,  and  he  laughed  lightly  and 
whistled  a  song.  But  never  have  I  seen  such 
a  height  of  courage  in  man  as  in  that  Court 
at  Winchester.  He  stood  there  like  a  royal  stag 
bayed  by  a  pack  of  curs.  There  was  a  row  of 
Judges  and  Commissioners,  void  and  foolish  men, 

142         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

with  malice  in  their  dazed  eyes  ;  and  in  the 
midst  the  Lord  Chief  Justice,  who  had  been 
better  employed  in  the  pursuits  of  his  youth, 
when  he  took  purses  on  Shooter's  Hill.  Before 
them  raved  the  King's  Attorney  with  a  brace 
of  fat  Serjeants.  c  Thou  hast  a  Spanish  heart,' 
they  cried  ;  c  thou  art  a  Spider  of  Hell,' — 'twas 
their  best  argument.  They  had  lungs  of  brass, 
and  their  mouths  frothed  with  venom." 

"Treason  !"  cried  Master  Cheape. 

"  Another  word,  ferret  face,"  says  the  soldier, 
"  and  you  will  go  through  the  window,  bars 
and  all." 

"  I  never  dreamed  of  such  a  sight,"  he  went 
on.  "  I  am  unlearned  in  the  law,  but  mother- 
wit  tells  me  that  no  man  can  be  judged  on  the 
sole  evidence  of  one  who  is  a  proved  liar  and 
recants  what  he  says  ere  he  hath  said  it.  What 
more  was  my  lord  Cobham  than  a  half-witted 
coward,  who  bleated  whatever  he  thought  might 
save  his  neck  ?  The  most  that  Sir  Walter  was 
shown  to  have  done  was  to  have  listened  too  toler- 
antly when  the  man  raved,  and  to  have  thought 
him  more  fool  than  rogue.  But  the  King's 

NEW    TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        143 

Attorney  bellowed,  and  the  Lord  Chief  Justice 
nodded  his  foolish  head,  and  told  the  Jury  that 
'twas  high  treason  for  a  man  to  be  offered  Spanish 
gold,  though  he  never  received  it  and  would  die 
ere  he  touched  it.  And  the  Jury  nodded  in  turn, 
and  went  to  sleep.  But  when  Sir  Walter  spoke 
'twas  like  the  north  wind  that  clears  a  fog.  He 
was  courteous  to  all,  even  to  the  mongrels  that 
baited  him,  but  if  ever  right  reason  triumphed 
'twas  on  his  lips.  There  were  many  in  that  Court 
who  hated  him  before  they  saw  and  heard  him, 
but  who  left  the  place  sworn  believers  in  his  great- 
ness and  innocence.  Nay,  there  was  a  Scot  to 
whom  I  spoke,  who  had  been  sent  by  the  King  to 
write  a  record  of  the  trial.  He  said  that  when  he 
first  came  he  would  have  gone  a  hundred  miles 
to  see  Raleigh  hanged,  but  ere  the  close  he 
would  have  walked  a  thousand  to  save  his  life." 

I  asked  about  the  end. 

"  The  Jury  had  been  taught  their  piece,  and 
spoke  it  correctly.  They  obeyed  the  orders 
of  the  Lord  Chief  Justice,  who  obeyed  in  turn 
the  faction  of  my  lord  Cecil  and  the  Howards. 
Sir  Walter  spoke  nobly  at  the  close,  and  asked 

H4         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

only  for  an  honourable  mode  of  death.  As  for 
me,  I  was  so  blinded  with  tears  that  I  could 
scarce  see.  I  walked  into  the  street,  and  when 
I  heard  a  man  speak  aught  against  Raleigh  I 
pounded  his  head  on  the  cobbles.  I'  faith,  I 
left  some  sore  crowns  in  Winchester  that  day." 

The  street  door  swung  open  again,  and  an 
icy  blast  set  the  candles  flickering.  The  man 
who  entered  was  a  lawyer  of  the  Middle  Tem- 
ple, much  of  my  own  standing,  one  Master  John 
Pym,  out  of  Somerset.  He  came  in  briskly 
with  a  light  in  his  eyes. 

"  Have  you  heard  the  news,  Philip  ?  '  he 
cried  to  me.  "  The  King  hath  reprieved  Sir 
Walter  Raleigh." 

At  that  there  was  such  a  shouting  as  brought 
in  the  guard  to  discover  the  cause.  The  seaman 
Nathan  Stubbs  arose  and,  catching  Master  Hilliard 
by  the  waist,  whirled  him  into  a  hornpipe.  Sir 
John  and  Captain  Luttrell  called  for  wine,  and 
pledged  first  His  Majesty,  and  then  Sir  Walter, 
and  last  of  all  gave  the  toast  of  confusion  to  all 
traitors,  naming  no  names.  'Twas  easy  to  read 

NEW    TIMES;    NEW    MEN.        145 

their  meaning,  and  the  Alderman  and  the  Gray's 
Inn  fellow  were  black  with  wrath. 

Then  Captain  Luttrell  declared  that  he  was 
in  the  mood  for  singing  at  last,  and  would  obey 
Master  Gilpin's  behest.  So  in  a  great  round 
voice  he  trolled  these  verses  : 

The  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee 
Guards  to  'tend  him  had  fifty-three ; 
And  pikes  and  muskets  a  goodly  store, 
And  long-nosed  cannons,  forty  and  more ; 
And  five  great  ships  that  tossed  on  the  sea, 
Had  the  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee. 

Dickon  of  Devon  had  nought  to  his  name 

But  a  ragged  shirt  and  an  empty  fame, 

An  old  plumed  hat  and  the  Devil's  own  pride, 

And  a  worn  old  blade  that  swung  at  his  side. 

But  he  hated  Spaniards  terribillee, — 

And  the  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee. 

The  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee 
Had  a  laughing  lady,  fair  and  free ; 
Gold  in  chest  and  wine  in  keg, 
And  pearls  as  big  as  a  pigeon's  egg ; 
And  crosses  and  jewels  so  rare  to  see, 
Had  the  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee. 

Now  Dickon  came  in  with  the  wind,  came  he, 

And  burned  the  castle  of  Santa  Fee, 

Slew  the  guards  and  rifled  the  chests, 

And  tossed  the  guns  to  the  sea-birds'  nests ; 

And  he  said  to  the  dame,  "  Will  ye  come  with  me, 

Or  bide  in  the  ashes  of  Santa  Fee  ?  " 

(1,562)  10 

146         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Then  up  and  spoke  the  lady  free, 
"  It's  out  of  this  prison  I  fain  would  be. 

For  I  am  of  England,  bred  and  born, 

And  I  hold  all  yellow-faced  Dons  in  scorn."- 
"  Oh,  a  widowed  man  this  day  I  be  ! " 

Quo'  the  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee. 

Master  Pym,  though  little  older  than  myself, 
had  a  gravity  beyond  his  years.  He  had  a 
broad  chest,  and  a  head  like  a  lion's,  and  the 
serenest  blue  eyes  I  have  ever  seen  in  man. 
Long  after,  when  he  had  come  to  great  fame 
in  the  nation,  I  reminded  him  of  the  night 
at  Gilpin's  and  of  his  joyful  news.  And  he 
answered  that  Raleigh  was  the  first  of  those 
who  stood  for  the  liberties  of  England,  and 
that  he  and  Sir  John  Eliot  and  the  others  of 
the  Parliament  but  walked  in  his  footsteps. 

On  this  occasion  he  told  his  tale  with  dancing 
eyes.  A  post  had  come  from  Winchester  to 
tell  how,  when  his  head  was  all  but  on  the 
block,  Sir  Walter  had  been  reprieved  and  sent 
prisoner  to  the  Tower.  At  this  very  moment 
he  was  on  his  way  under  guard  to  London. 

The   tide   hath   turned,"  said    Master   Pym. 
The  very  mob  which  a  month  ago  would  have 



NEW    TIMES;     NEW    MEN.       147 

torn  him  from  his  keepers  is  now  shouting  his 
praises,  and  calling  for  vengeance  upon  them 
that  traduced  him.  My  lord  Cobham  will  do 
wisely  to  keep  out  of  their  hands.  Mark  you, 
sirs,  Sir  Walter  hath  not  always  conducted 
himself  discreetly.  He  hath  been  headstrong 
and  over-proud,  and  hath  confounded  oftentimes 
his  own  glory  and  his  land's  welfare.  But  he 
hath  stood  manfully  for  England,  and  the  great 
heart  of  him  could  not  sink  to  the  reptile  ways 
of  the  common  courtier.  This  trial  hath  purged 
his  fame  in  all  honest  eyes.  He  hath  shown 
such  a  spirit  in  the  face  of  disaster  that  from  his 
words  will  be  born  a  new  gospel  for  the  people. 
In  after  days,  when  we  have  long  been  dust,  no 
man  will  remember  Sir  Edward  Coke  or  my 
Lord  Chief  Justice  Popham  save  as  those  who, 
like  Judas  and  Pilate,  betrayed  innocent  blood." 

"  Blasphemy  !  '  cried  Master  Cheape,  who 
with  a  sad  countenance  was  making  ready  to 
depart.  "  'Tis  an  ill  day  for  England  when 
a  jackanapes  from  the  West  will  teach  law  to 
his  masters,  and  confound  black  treason  with 


148         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

The  other  laughed  pleasantly. 

"  I  am  no  lawyer,  Master  Cheape,  though  I 
have  studied  law.  But  I  will  give  you  a  word 
in  friendly  season.  Make  the  most  of  the 
present,  for  the  day  comes  when  you  will  fare 
badly.  Doubt  not  there  is  a  new  spirit  coming 
to  birth  in  this  land.  I  will  yet  live  to  see  its 
workings,  and  when  that  day  comes  'twill  go 
ill  with  lick-spittles,  whether  of  Kings  or  King's 

Master  Pym  said  no  more,  for  Nathan  Stubbs 
was  plucking  at  his  elbow. 

"  A  mercy,  kind  sir,"  whispered  the  sailorman. 
"  You  are  a  friend  to  Sir  Walter,  and  I  would 
have  a  word  in  your  ear.  You  speak  of  his 
lying  in  the  prison  of  the  Tower.  Tell  me, 
is  this  Tower  a  strong  place,  or  could  it  be  taken 
by  resolute  men  ?  There  be  twenty  and  more 
of  us,  lying  at  the  '  Green  Wife  '  in  Wapping. 
We  be  all  lusty  fellows,  and  handy  for  a 

rescue.  .  .  ." 

Chapter  VII. 

"  Stone  walls  do  not  a  prison  make, 

Nor  iron  bars  a  cage ; 
Minds  innocent  and  quiet  take 
These  for  a  heritage." 


l_,,.l'-,-.l"...<.-'.<*r»"—'*h-«  — >l>r..J. 


-.   -,: 

Chapter  VII. 



TN  the  spring  of  the  year  1612  I  was  deputed 
by  the  Principal  and  Fellows  of  Brasenose 
College  to  journey  to  London  on  various  matters 
concerning  our  lands,  and  likewise  to  bear  the 
thanks  of  the  University  of  Oxford  to  the  noble- 
men, gentlemen,  and  scholars  who  had  made  gifts 
to  Sir  Thomas  Bodley's  new  Library.  Among 
these  donors  were  my  lord  Pembroke  and,  what 
seemed  to  me  a  portent  of  generosity,  Sir  Walter 
Raleigh,  who  from  his  prison  in  the  Tower,  and 
out  of  the  poor  relics  of  his  fortune,  spared  no 
less  a  sum  than  £50.  My  lodging  was  at  the 
house  in  Holborn  of  my  mother's  cousin,  Master 
John  Hoskyns,  the  famed  Serjeant-at-law,  and 
one  of  the  most  admired  scholars  of  the  day. 

*A  record  left  by  that  admirable  scholar,  Mr.  Richard  Bristowe  of  Brase- 
nose College,  Oxford,  afterwards  Lord  Bishop  of  Lincoln  and  Editor  of  the 
Opera  of  Seneca. 

150         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

We  would  walk  together,  discoursing  of  high 
matters,  and  visiting  those  sights  of  the  City 
which  were  marvels  to  a  country-bred  man.  On 
the  afternoon  of  May-day,  I  remember,  we  took 
the  air  on  the  wharf  by  the  river  from  which  the 
eye  looks  to  the  terraced  gardens  of  the  Tower. 
There  I  saw  a  man  pacing,  his  hands  behind  his 
back,  and  his  shoulders  bent  as  if  in  thought. 
Suddenly  there  came  up  a  ship  with  the  tide,  her 
sails  dropping  as  she  rode  to  anchor.  The  man 
put  his  hands  to  his  eyes  and  stared  at  the  vessel, 
as  if  he  had  been  a  sailor  on  the  look-out.  There 
were  other  spectators  near,  and  I  heard  a  murmur 
in  the  throng  that  the  prisoner  was  Sir  Walter 
Raleigh.  Judge  how  I  gazed  at  one  whose  name 
those  thirty  years  had  flown  through  the  mouths 
of  men. 

The  Serjeant  marked  my  interest.  "  This 
evening,"  he  said,  "  we  will  go  to  visit  Sir 
Walter.  He  welcomes  his  friends  after  supper, 
and  you  will  find  better  talk  in  his  chamber  than 
in  any  tavern  of  the  wits." 

So  it  fell  that  the  same  evening  I  put  on  my 
best  suit  of  laced  velvet,  for  in  London  I  love  to 

STONE    WALLS.  151 

dress  rather  as  courtier  than  as  scholar,  and  took 
a  coach  to  the  West  Gate  of  the  Tower.  Master 
Hoskyns  was  a  familiar  figure,  and  we  were  con- 
ducted straightway  to  that  part  of  the  Castle 
known  as  the  Bloody  Tower,  because  of  the 
deaths  of  King  Edward  V.  and  his  brother.  We 
entered  a  pleasant  chamber,  with  windows  on 
two  sides,  looking  on  one  hand  to  the  Terrace 
and  the  river  wharves,  and  on  the  other  to  the 
Lieutenant's  bowling  green  and  a  pretty  garden 
of  roses.  The  place  was  handsomely  provided, 
and  a  small  fire  of  logs  burned  on  the  hearth. 
There  I  found  company  assembled — my  lady 
Raleigh,  who  lodged  near  by,  and  Master  John 
Talbot,  and  the  famous  Ben  Jonson,  who  was 
declaiming  a  scene  of  a  play.  There  were 
likewise  a  Guiana  Indian,  who  waited  as  page 
upon  my  Lady,  and  a  small  lean-faced  man  with 
deep-set  eyes,  who  I  was  told  was  His  Majesty's 
Solicitor,  Sir  Francis  Bacon.  My  Lady  sat  on 
a  settle  by  the  west  window,  busy  with  some 
broidery,  while  the  others  talked  and  listened  to  the 
poet,  and  smoked  the  tobacco  herb  in  long  pipes. 
Sir  Walter  Raleigh  was  dressed  richly  in 

152         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

scarlet  trunk  hose  and  a  blue  velvet  doublet, 
with  a  furred  gown  around  his  shoulders.  He 
sat  close  to  the  hearth,  for  he  had  the  ague 
in  his  bones,  and  suffered  much  from  chilliness. 
I  remember  how  kindly  he  bade  me  welcome, 
speaking  to  me  of  Oxford  and  the  scholars  of 
his  acquaintance,  but  ever  with  a  word  to  the 
others,  so  as  to  bind  us  all  in  one  circle  of 
discourse.  He  was  already  past  the  meridian 
of  life,  but  till  I  looked  close  at  him  'twas 
hard  to  credit  it.  For  he  bore  himself  gallantly, 
and  his  eyes  had  ever  a  spark  of  fire  and  a  laugh- 
ing humour.  Yet  his  face  was  shrunken  about 
the  jaws,  his  brows  were  lined  and  seamed,  and 
a  web  of  crow's  feet  rimmed  his  eyes.  In  his 
hair  and  beard,  though  tended  carefully,  there 
were  many  threads  of  grey.  'Twas  the  face 
of  one  who,  like  Ulysses,  had  seen  men  and 
cities,  and  had  dared  whatever  man  may  dare. 
There  were  moments  when  I  thought  of  him 
as  an  elder  whose  day  had  passed,  but  at  other 
times  he  had  the  free  and  radiant  air  of  youth, 
so  that  he  seemed  rather  a  lion  caged  than  an 
old  man  dedicate  to  the  leisure  of  age. 

STONE    WALLS.  153 

We  talked  first  of  his  great  History,  wherein 
Ben  and  Sir  Francis  Bacon  were  his  allies.  I 
have  never  seen  such  a  devourer  of  books,  or  one 
who  used  his  knowledge  so  aptly.  He  would 
puzzle  Ben — no  mean  scholar — with  a  Greek 
line,  and  confound  Sir  Francis  with  a  subtlety  of 
Justinian's  law.  From  the  company  of  his  books, 
he  said,  he  drew  more  true  comfort  than  ever  from 
his  courtly  companions  in  their  chiefest  bravery. 
'Twas  honestly  said,  I  doubt  not,  and  yet  it  rang 
hollow.  I  could  not  look  at  those  eyes  and  believe 
them  wedded  for  all  time  to  a  lettered  page. 

Then  at  a  question  of  the  King's  Solicitor 
the  talk  turned  to  matters  of  statecraft.  Sir 
Walter  had  written  a  discourse  on  The  Prerogative 
of  Parliaments,  and  had  had  it  copied  for  gifts  to 
his  friends.  Holding  this  discourse  in  his  hands, 
Sir  Francis  was  for  questioning  certain  of  its 

"  There  is  but  the  one  prerogative,"  said  he, 
"  which  is  a  seamless  robe  and  indivisible.  If 
it  be  in  His  Majesty  he  cannot  share  it  with  his 
subjects,  still  less  with  any  Parliament  of  subjects." 

"True,"    said    Sir    Walter.       "There    is    but 

154         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

the  one  prerogative,  but  as  I  read  the  laws  of 
England,  Sir  Francis — and  these  last  years  I  have 
read  in  them  deeply — that  prerogative  is  not  in 
His  Majesty's  person  but  in  his  office,  and  that 
office  is,  as  it  were,  a  trust  for  the  benefit  of  all. 
The  law  is  the  true  sovereign.  If  His  Majesty 
offend  against  the  law  fundamental,  his  deeds  are 
void  :  and  therein  I  agree  with  my  old  foe,  Sir 
Edward  Coke.  'Twas  the  lesson  which  the 
Barons  of  England  read  to  King  John  at  Runny- 

"  Then    where    is    your    royal    prerogative  ? ' 
cried    the    King's    Solicitor.      "Sir   Walter!    Sir 
Walter  !      I     fear    you    are    treading    dangerous 

Raleigh  smiled,  and  with  the  tongs  drew  a 
coal  for  his  pipe. 

"  'Tis  a  simple  matter,  like  all  true  ones.  The 
King  has  his  prerogative  inasmuch  as  he  is  the 
guardian  of  the  laws.  If  he  err  in  his  wardship, 
he  forfeits  the  honours  which  belong  to  him 
because  of  that  wardship.  All  the  Estates  of 
the  realm  are,  in  a  manner  of  speaking,  one 
body,  and  as  the  leg  hath  no  claim  against  the 

STONE    WALLS.  155 

arm,  so  Commons  have  no  right  against  Lords 
or  Lords  against  Commons,  so  be  they  perform 
their  proper  duties.  But  the  brain  and  heart 
of  the  body  I  take  to  be  the  King,  and  'tis  his 
office  to  see  that  all  others  play  their  parts,  and 
that  the  body,  which  is  the  realm,  flourished! 
by  those  rules  of  civil  health,  which  I  call  the 
law  fundamental  of  England.  He  dare  not  rule 
harshly,  for  in  so  doing  he  is  harsh  to  himself. 
As  I  have  written  in  my  History.,  c  no  cords  have 
ever  lasted  long  save  those  which  have  been 
twisted  by  love  only.'  If  the  brain  bids  the  leg 
be  still  and  move  not,  the  leg  will  grow  palsied, 
because  it  hath  broken  the  law  of  the  body,  and 
in  time  the  brain  itself  will  die.  'Tis  so  with 

"  Then,"  said  Sir  Francis,  "  it  would  seem  as 
if  His  Majesty  had  no  powers  save  as  watchdog 
over  black-letter  statutes.  'Tis  a  sore  downfall 
for  the  Lord's  Anointed." 

Sir  Walter's  face  grew  grave.  "  There  is 
no  downfall,  for  the  King  is  the  State,  and  the 
law  is  the  law  of  his  own  well-being.  Be 
warned,  Sir  Francis.  I  honour  kingship  above 

156         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

all  earthly  honours,  and  I  would  see  it  flourish 
immortally.  But  if  ever  the  King  set  himself 
outside  the  State  and  without  the  Law,  his  pre- 
rogative will  turn  to  a  thing  of  gossamer.  Then 
you  will  hear  the  cry  of  the  prerogative  of  the 
Commons,  as  in  ancient  Athens,  and  haply 
Parliament  will  set  itself  as  sovereign  above  the 
King — ay,  and  above  the  people." 

The  King's  Solicitor  flung  up  his  hands  and 
laughed.  "  A  prison  hath  made  you  a  prophet, 
but  your  vision  outruns  reason.  I,  who  have 
some  share  in  the  governance  of  the  State,  have 
no  such  forebodings.  I  would  strengthen  His 
Majesty  so  that  he  become  in  very  truth  God's 
regent  on  earth." 

Raleigh  turned  to  me.  "  You  will  live  the 
longest  of  us,  for  you  are  the  youngest.  Treasure 
my  words,  Master  Bristowe,  and  when  you  are 
old  consider  if  I  have  spoken  falsely." 

Ben  had  grown  weary  of  the  discussion,  and 
was  for  singing  a  new  song  from  a  play  called 
Cymbeline^  but  lately  given  to  the  town.  'Twas 
a  dirge  of  the  vanity  of  human  hopes,  about 
golden  lads  and  girls  who  come  to  dust.  He 

STONE    WALLS.  157 

had  got  to  the  third  verse  when  the  door  opened 
and  a  young  man  entered. 

I  had  never  seen  him  before,  but  the  company 
knew  him  and  stood  up  at  his  advent.  He  was 
a  slim  lad  of  some  eighteen  years,  with  a  pale 
complexion,  but  ripe  and  masterful  brown  eyes. 
Sir  Francis  bowed  low  before  him,  and  my  Lady 
came  forward  with  a  deep  curtsey.  But  Raleigh 
took  him  by  the  hand  and  drew  him  to  the  fire. 
"Welcome,  Harry,"  he  said  ;  "your  ship  is  ready 
at  last."  And  Sir  Francis  said,  "  'Tis  a  chill 
evening,  sire."  Then  I  knew  that  the  stranger 
was  the  Prince  of  Wales. 

I  know  little  of  Courts,  but  the  lad  was  as 
merry  among  us  as  if  he  had  been  Sir  Walter's 
son.  His  coming  dispelled  all  dull  converse  on 
statecraft  and  Ben's  funereal  ditties.  Raleigh 
drew  from  a  cupboard  a  little  ship,  the  same  in 
all  parts  as  one  which  sails  the  sea.  'Twas  fitted 
with  masts  and  spars  and  cordage,  and  even  little 
guns  of  brass.  He  set  it  in  a  slip  on  the  table, 
and  we  clustered  round  to  admire. 

"  'Tis  called  by  your  name,  Harry,"  said  the 
maker.  "  As  the  Prince  'twill  sail  its  mimic 

158          SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

course,  and  I  trust  'twill  show  the  seamanship 
of  its  godsire.  John  Shelbury,  and  Keymis,  and  I 
have  wrought  hard  at  it  for  the  past  month,  and 
to  me  the  task  has  been  like  a  cordial.  The 
fingers  make  pleasant  tools  when  the  brain  is 

"  As  for  cordials,"  said  the  Prince,  "  my 
mother  bids  me  beg  for  a  further  supply  of  that 
of  your  own  making.  She  hath  three  maids  sick 
of  the  fever.  .  .  .  Pray,  is  that  spar  in  the  right 
proportion  ?  Master  Pett  favours  a  heavier 

And  so  they  talked  like  two  shipwrights, 
while  the  rest  of  us  waited,  much  tickled  by 
this  boyish  play,  for  Sir  Walter  was  as  eager 
as  the  Prince.  He  had  a  tale  for  every  item 
of  tackle.  This  had  been  shot  away  at  Cadiz 
in  the  Warsplte^  and  that  at  the  Azores  in  the 
Good  Venture.  And  then  he  fell  to  memories 
till  the  ship  was  forgotten.  Candles  were  lit, 
and  we  sat  round  the  May  fire,  while  Sir  Walter 
looked  into  the  smoke-clouds  of  his  pipe  and 
told  strange  tales.  'Twas  the  highest  pleasure 
I  have  ever  got  from  the  lips  of  man.  An  hour 

STONE    WALLS.  159 

ago  he  had  been  the  statesman  speaking  of  sober 
statecraft,  but  now  he  was  Ulysses,  telling  of 
a  new  Phasacia  and  a  better  Alcinous.  He 
spoke  of  Guiana  and  the  great  river  whose 
shores  gleam  with  gold,  and  the  scented  glades 
all  hung  with  strange  fruits  which  glow  like 
lamps  in  the  forest  dusk.  He  told  of  harsh 
deeds  on  the  Main,  of  fights  lost  and  won,  and 
of  nameless  heroes  who  took  counsel  from  the 
lonely  valour  of  their  hearts.  He  spoke  of 
Manoa,  the  City  of  Gold,  which  God  hath  hid 
in  the  innermost  hills  of  Guiana,  till  the  gates 
fly  open  before  the  chosen  knight.  And  through 
all  ran  the  tale  of  the  Spaniard,  who  hath  turned 
an  Eden  into  a  desert.  'Twas  a  voice  from 
another  age,  for  he  spoke  of  Spain  as  the  mortal 
foe  of  England,  while  that  night  in  every  tavern 
men  were  debating  whether  the  Princess  Eliza- 
beth was  to  marry  the  Duke  of  Savoy's  son. 

I  noted  that  the  Prince  sat  with  wide-open 
eye,  the  colour  mounting  in  his  cheek  as  the 
tales  grew  brisk.  At  the  end  he  sighed. 

"  I  have  a  fear,"  he  said,  "  that  the  Golden 
Age  is  gone  from  England,  and  we  have  declined 

160         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

upon  the  days  of  little  men.  The  one  eagle  that 
hath  remained  to  us  we  keep  close  in  a  cage  like 
good  poultry-keepers."  He  looked  at  Raleigh, 
who  avoided  his  gaze. 

When  his  gentlemen  came  to  attend  him,  he 
took  farewell  with  the  air  of  a  boy  still  dreaming. 
He  paused  by  the  table  where  stood  his  ship. 

"Ay,  ay,  good  Prince  /'  he  said.  "You  and 
I  will  never  dip  our  flag  to  any  cry  of 
'  Santiago.'  " 

When  he  had  gone,  Sir  Francis  Bacon  shook 
his  head  solemnly,  yet  with  mirth  in  his  face. 
"  How  can  the  persuasion  of  His  Majesty's  Coun- 
cillors anent  the  Spanish  Marriage  vie  with  a 
few  old  wives'  tales  and  a  toy  ship  ?  ' 

I  visited  Sir  Walter  again  on  an  afternoon  in 
July,  when  he  received  me  on  the  Terrace  out- 
side his  chambers.  The  Prince  was  with  him, 
and  their  heads  were  close  in  their  eager  quest. 
Below  the  Terrace  in  the  garden  had  stood  a 
little  hut  of  lath  and  plaster.  The  Lieutenant's 
lady  had  made  it  her  hen-house,  but  now  the 
fowls  had  flown,  and  Sir  Walter  had  built  a  room 

STONE    WALLS.  161 

of  stout  timber,  where  he  experimented  in  the 
sciences.  'Twas  like  an  alchemist's  den,  being 
heaped  with  strange  simples  and  ores,  and  lined 
with  alembics  and  crucibles  and  other  vessels  of 
the-  craft.  By  its  side  was  a  furnace  where  he 
assayed  metals. 

In  the  clear  light  of  a  summer  day  I  could  see 
writ  on  his  face  the  ravages  of  time  and  the  sick- 
ness of  hope  deferred.  'Twas  nine  years  since 
first  he  had  entered  those  walls,  and  every  hour 
since  he  had  struggled  for  liberty.  The  people 
had  forgiven  him  his  faults,  if  faults  there  were. 
To  the  commonalty  he  was  one  of  the  marvels  of 
the  City,  a  thing  to  point  to  their  children  and 
say  :  "  There  is  the  great  Sir  Walter  Raleigh." 
But  his  deeds  had  been  done  so  long  ago  that 
only  the  elder  folk  clearly  remembered  them. 
To  the  world  he  was  like  Tithonus,  a  human 
shadow  mated  with  the  bright  Dawn  of  a 
memory.  At  Court,  as  I  had  heard,  his  name 
was  still  a  lively  offence  to  the  King  and  to  those 
of  his  Councillors  who  favoured  a  Spanish  alliance. 
'Twas  the  very  soul  of  irony  that  he  should  have 
been  condemned  for  seeking  the  friendship  of 

(1,662)  11 

1 62         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Spain,  and  kept  in  durance  because  he  was  deemed 
Spain's  chiefest  enemy.  But  Her  Majesty  and 
the  Prince  of  Wales  were  of  a  separate  party  and 
visited  and  comforted  him,  so  that  from  this 
quarter  his  friends  saw  a  sure  hope  of  release. 

Sir  Walter  was  ever  a  lover  of  dainty  clothes, 
and  when  he  wrought  in  his  still-room  put  on  an 
over-garment,  like  the  smock  of  a  peasant.  He 
had  some  copper  ore  from  Ireland  and  a  packet 
of  marquesite  from  Guiana,  and  while  they  melted 
in  the  furnace  he  showed  his  store  of  herbs  and 

"  There,"  said  he,  "  is  the  sweetest  balm  on 
earth.  It  grows  in  the  high  mountains  of  India, 
where  no  man  can  reach  it ;  but  the  birds  of  the 
plains  pluck  it  for  their  nests,  and  there  the  Indian 
seeks  it.  'Tis  Prester  John's  herb,  and  when 
distilled  with  cinnamon  and  crabs'  claws  is  a 
sovereign  cure  for  the  falling  sickness.  I  have 
but  little  left,  for  the  ladies  of  the  French  King's 
Court  have  begged  the  most  of  it  from  me.  A 
drop  in  a  cup  of  wine  will  make  a  woman's  eyes 
shine  like  the  dew." 

Prince    Henry    asked    concerning    the    Great 

STONE   WALLS.  163 

Cordial,  which  had  made  Raleigh's  name  famous 
above  all  physicians.  Its  maker  held  it  cheap. 

"  "Tis  but  a  distillation  of  sugar  and  saffron, 
half  made  from  an  old  wife's  receipt  in  Devon 
and  half  from  a  device  of  the  Indians  of  Hispani- 
ola.  Your  quack  will  mumble  charms  over  it 
and  add  noisome  things  to  give  it  mystery,  but 
'tis  only  an  old  wives'  posset  for  the  common 

Then  the  Prince,  whose  mind  was  ever  on 
foreign  voyages,  fell  to  asking  if  Sir  Walter  in 
his  travels  had  found  no  marvellous  drugs  among 
the  people  of  the  West.  Raleigh  shook  his 

"  They  have  the  bark  of  a  tree  which  cures 
fevers,  but  I  have  long  finished  my  stock  of  it. 
The  Indian  lives  simply,  and  does  not  suffer  from 
our  surfeits  and  frenzies.  But  I  have  heard  of  a 
potion  which  gives  a  sick  man  strength  and  like- 
wise the  vision  of  the  Blest." 

We  were  eager  to  hear  of  this,  and  he  told  us 
how  a  Captain  in  his  Guiana  voyage  had  been  shot 
by  a  poisoned  arrow  so  that  he  lay  at  the  door  of 
death.  A  priest  had  healed  him  of  his  wound. 

1 64         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

and  given  him  a  drug  which  strengthened  him 
for  travel.  Then  he  had  brought  him  to  the 
top  of  a  high  mountain  and  had  shown  him  a 
City  of  such  golden  beauty  that  the  man's  heart 
ever  after  was  sick  with  longing.* 

"  That  was  a  wondrous  potion,"  he  said,  "  but 
I  am  in  two  minds  about  the  City.  Sometimes 
I  think  that  the  virtue  was  in  the  drug,  which, 
like  the  Turkish  poppy,  clouded  his  brain  into  a 
fair  dream.  Yet  when  I  remember  the  stalwart 
rough  fellow  who  drank  it,  I  can  almost  believe 
that  the  draught  did  no  more  than  comfort  the 
body,  and  that  he  saw  in  very  truth  the  magical 

The  Prince  asked  if  the  place  were  Manoa,  of 
which  he  had  read  in  Sir  Walter's  book  on  his 
Guiana  voyage. 

"  It  may  be  Manoa,  of  which  there  is  good 
proof  from  the  witness  of  other  travellers,  besides 
the  belief  of  all  Indians.  Or  it  may  be  a  better 
than  Manoa.  Some  day,  if  God  wills,  I  may  go 
and  see."  And  he  sighed. 

Prince  Henry  spoke  quick  and  soft.      "  I  have 

*  See  Chap.  IV. 

STONE   WALLS.  165 

news  for  you,  Sir  Walter.  My  father  has 
promised  me  your  release  at  Christmastide.  He 
hath  a  plan  for  getting  gold  from  the  Indies,  and 
he  seeks  your  aid." 

The  words  were  but  half  heard  by  me,  but  I 
noted  the  sudden  flush  on  Raleigh's  face. 

"  If  His  Majesty  fulfil  the  purpose  of  his  great 
heart,  he  will  find  a  devout  servant.  Nay,  dear 
lad,  we  will  travel  together  to  the  West  in  a  new 
Prince,  made  on  the  model  of  your  little  ship. 
We  will  see  together  the  great  river  Orinoko 
and  the  hills  of  El  Dorado." 

"  And  the  forests  and  the  toothed  serpents  and 
the  pine-apples,"  said  the  lad  eagerly.  "  And 
we  will  talk  with  the  Spaniard  as  Englishmen 
should.  But  'tis  an  idle  hope.  I  am  tied  by 
the  heels,  for  my  father  says  that  it  is  not  fitting 
that  a  Prince  of  Wales  should  go  forth  of  the 
kingdom  save  in  war." 

"  War  comes,"  said  Raleigh,  "  and  all  its 
battles  will  be  fought  in  the  West.  You  will 
yet  hear  your  guns,  Harry,  a-battering  Porto 
Bello,  as  Francis  Drake  sought.  You  will  see 
your  own  topsails  shepherding  the  great  galleons 

1 66         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

to  English  seas.  Fear  not,  lad.  'Twill  be 
a  merry  world  when  England  takes  the  water 

We  were  now  by  the  little  furnace,  watching 
the  cup  into  which  ran  the  molten  metal.  A 
thin  bright  trickle  was  crawling  forth. 

"Look!"  cried  Sir  Walter  sharply.  "There 
come  the  sinews  of  war.  That  is  what  all  Eng- 
land will  shout  for — City  and  Court  alike.  Mark 
you,  that  is  Guiana  ore.  I  call  it  marquesite, 
to  ward  off  thieves,  but  'twas  brought  me  secretly 
by  Keymis  from  a  mine  I  know  of.  'Tis  no 
marquesite,  but  pure  gold,  and  there  is  the  proof 
of  it." 

But  the  Prince  had  turned  away.  "  Let 
us  go  back  to  the  distillations,"  he  said ; 
"  I  am  mortally  wearied  with  all  this  talk  of 

My  last  visit  was  made  on  a  dismal  day  of 
November,  when  I  had  come  to  town  with  a 
petition  to  my  lord  Arundel  on  a  matter  of 
fines  and  recoveries.  I  found  Sir  Walter  alone 
in  his  chamber,  shivering  by  the  hearth  with  a 

STONE   WALLS.  167 

fit  of  fever.  Outside  the  wind  howled  from  the 
river,  and  the  Terrace  was  a  field  of  withered 
leaves.  To  my  eye  he  had  suddenly  gone  grey 
and  old,  and  I  saw  that  he  was  bowed  with  a 
great  sorrow.  Then  I  remembered  the  mortal 
illness  of  the  Prince.  All  London  waited  hourly 
on  the  tidings  of  his  death. 

He  gave  me  a  wan  greeting.  "  You  find  me 
in  an  ill  hour,  Master  Richard,"  he  said,  "  and 
my  brain  is  too  dull  for  converse.  Sorrow  rides 
the  ass,  says  the  proverb,  prosperity  the  eagle. 
My  wits  go  at  an  ass's  pace  these  days,  for  I  can 
endure  my  own  ills,  but  my  friends'  woes  make  a 
woman  of  me." 

I  asked  if  he  had  news  of  the  Prince. 

"  He  enters  the  port  of  death.  My  own 
physician  has  seen  him,  and  vouches  that  hope  is 
over.  'Tis  a  malignant  fever,  of  which  no  man 
knows  the  cause  or  cure.  I  sent  him  my  choicest 
drugs,  but  they  rallied  him  only  for  a  moment. 
Had  I  seen  the  brave  lad  myself  I  might  have 
read  the  riddle  of  his  malady,  but  I  am  a  prisoner 
convicted  of  high  treason,  and  they  would  not 
bring  me  to  him,  though  he  cried  for  me." 

1 68         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Sir  Walter  flung  his  furred  robe  from  him  and 
walked  to  the  window. 

"  'Tis  a  fitting  day  for  the  passing  of  a  king. 
Mark  you,  Harry  would  have  made  such  a  king 
as  the  great  Elizabeth  was  queen.  He  would 
have  purged  the  foul  humours  of  the  land,  and 
set  England  once  more  on  the  path  of  honour. 
I  fear  the  realm  hath  sinned  too  deep,  and 
his  God  will  take  him  from  the  wrath  to 


I  could  say  nothing  but  those  Virgilian  lines 
where  the  poet  sorrows  for  the  death  of  the 
young  Marcellus.  Raleigh  spoke  them  after 

"  He  was  a  son  to  me,  and  the  solace  of  my 
captivity,  and  some  day  he  would  have  been  the 
greatest  king  in  Christendom.  He  loved  all 
honest  things.  He  was  a  ripe  wit  and  scholar, 
a  wise  statesman,  and  a  dreamer  of  high  dreams." 
He  murmured  to  himself  that  verse  of  Theocritus 
which  in  English  runs  thus  : 

"  But  Daphnis  went  down  the  stream,  and  the  whirl  closed  over 
the  head  of  one  most  dear  to  the  Muses  and  not  hateful  to  the 

STONE    WALLS.  169 

Then,  remembering  that  I  was  soon  to  be  in 
priest's  orders,  I  endeavoured  to  comfort  him 
with  the  consolations  of  religion.  He  heard  me 
with  a  sad  courtesy. 

"  I  bow  to  God's  will,  but  submission  will  not 
chase  away  sorrow.  I  sorrow  for  myself,  for  I 
have  now  no  good  friend  to  bring  me  out  of 
prison  into  the  free  air.  But  I  sorrow  most  deeply 
for  this  realm  of  England.  Nay,  nay,  Master 
Richard,  I  know  what  you  would  say.  God 
will  raise  up  another  in  His  own  good  time,  but 
for  the  present,  as  the  Apostle  saith,  our  case  is 
not  joyous  but  grievous." 

Suddenly  he  flung  open  the  casement.  On 
the  heavy  autumn  air  came  the  sound  of  the 
tolling  of  a  bell.  'Twas  the  Great  Bell  of  Paul's, 
which  tolls  only  for  a  royal  death.  Then  I 
knew  that  all  was  over. 

Raleigh  stood  silent  for  a  little,  his  lips  moving 
as  if  in  prayer.  Then  he  turned  to  me,  and  I 
saw  that  his  mouth  was  firm  again  and  his  coun- 
tenance clear. 

"  I  weep  not  for  the  dead,"  he  said.  "  The 
Prince  is  now  sailing  brighter  seas  than  ours. 

170         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

To  our  business,  Master  Richard !  I  am  like 
to  be  many  years  in  this  place,  and  I  must  see 
to  it  that  my  time  is  well  spent.  Have  you 
brought  the  digest  of  Suetonius  I  sought  for 
my  History?  .  .  ." 

Chapter  VIII. 

The  worn  ship  reels  ;  but,  still  unfurled, 

Our  tattered  ensign  flouts  the  skies  ; 
And  doomed  to  watch  a  little  world 

Of  petty  men  grown  mean  and  wise, 
The  old  sea  laughs  for  joy  to  find 

One  purple  folly  left  to  her, 
When  glimmers  down  the  riotous  wind 

The  flag  of  the  Adventurer." 

—  The  Ship  of  Fools. 



Chapter  VIII. 



The  Triangle  Islands,  of  the  Coast  of  Guiana : 
December  the  Seventh,  1617. 

HPHIS  is  the  first  hour  of  leisure  since  we  sailed 
from  Cork,  and  I  take  my  Diurnal  to  set 
down  the  chances  of  the  voyage.  Two  days  after 
Sir  Walter  came  out  of  the  Tower,  he  bade  me 
go  with  him  to  the  Abbey  Church  of  Westmin- 
ster, and  was  eager  to  know  the  names  of  all  the 
new  houses  which  had  been  built  during  his  cap- 
tivity. When  we  entered  the  Abbey  doors  he 
walked  to  the  great  new  tomb  of  Queen  Eliza- 
beth, and  stood  a  time  in  thought.  For  long  after 
he  was  sunk  in  melancholy,  and  spoke  no  word  till 
he  had  come  to  my  lodging  in  Chancery  Lane. 

*  From   the   Diurnal  of  Captain  Thomas  Keymis,  of  the  ship  Centaur; 
preserved  among  the  papers  of  the  Fynes  family. 

172         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

"  'Tis  the  first  venture,"  he  said,  "  that  I  have 
made  without  the  patent  of  my  incomparable 
mistress.  Times  have  changed  in  the  land,  and 
we  sail  on  a  desperate  enterprise,  with  ill-wishers 
behind  and  an  enemy  forewarned  before.  I  have 
written  so  much  of  late  that  I  would  fain  rest 
from  it ;  and,  moreover,  I  will  have  much  ado 
to  rule  the  fleet.  I  pray  you,  Thomas,  set  out 
in  writing  all  that  befalls  us,  that  it  may  be  a 
record  for  those  who  come  after  me."  So  I  take 
up  my  pen  at  my  Admiral's  command. 

For  near  a  year  we  were  hard  at  work  building 
ships  and  getting  money.  Sir  Walter  came  out  of 
his  prison  in  March,  and  'twas  not  till  December 
that  his  new  flagship,  the  Destiny,  was  launched 
from  the  slips  of  Master  Phineas  Pett.  We  had 
had  trouble  with  our  adventurers,  scapegraces  of 
honest  houses  whom  their  kinsfolk  would  have 
despatched  with  us  to  save  from  the  gallows. 
Of  gentlemen  volunteers  we  had  a  better  brand, 
for  with  us  sailed  Sir  Warham  St.  Leger,  and 
Master  George  Raleigh,  Sir  Walter's  nephew, 
and  certain  gentlemen  of  the  Pembroke  and 
Huntingdon  families.  There  was  trouble,  too, 

FAIRY    GOLD.  173 

over  the  Admiral's  commission,  and  his  pardon 
was  misdoubted  by  his  friends.  There  were 
those  who  said  that  the  King  wished  no  more 
than  to  get  Sir  Walter  into  fresh  mischances, 
that  he  might  use  his  life  as  a  bait  for  Spanish 
friendship.  Spain's  Ambassador,  Don  Diego, 
wrought  day  and  night  to  frustrate  our  plans, 
and  thought  by  offering  a  safe  conduct  for  two 
ships  to  persuade  us  ancient  sailors  to  put  our 
heads  in  the  lion's  jaws.  There  were  many  said 
that  Sir  Walter  only  waited  on  the  chance  to 
turn  pirate,  and,  once  forth  of  the  kingdom, 
would  never  show  face  again.  But  why  set 
down  the  follies  of  his  slanderers  ?  All  who  had 
served  under  the  great  Captain  knew  the  honour 
of  his  heart  and  his  fearless  bravery.  Well  we 
knew  that  he  would  return,  though  all  Spain,  and 
Hell,  and  every  knave  in  England  waited  with 
open  mouth  to  rend  him.  Knowing  this,  we 
had  long  thoughts  of  what  might  befall  if  the 
gold  failed  and  the  Spaniard  met  us  with  a 
superior  force.  But  Sir  Walter  himself  soon 
cast  out  these  fears.  In  truth,  he  was  drunk 
with  freedom.  His  thoughts  flew  as  happily 

174         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

to  the  sea  and  the  West  as  a  young  maid's  to 
her  lover. 

We  were  a  motley  company,  for  besides  the 
adventurers  I  have  spoke  of,  some  of  whom 
could  not  be  denied  from  coming,  we  had  among 
the  crews  many  very  perfect  rascals,  both  French 
and  English.  In  these  days  'tis  hard  to  get  good 
mariners  in  England,  for,  owing  to  our  lethargy 
on  the  sea,  the  stiff  sailor-breed  hath  decayed, 
and  those  who  once  sought  for  El  Dorado  now 
seek  only  for  pilchards.  Nevertheless,  some  of 
our  captains  were  true  men,  and  there  were  some 
in  the  ships  who  had  served  aforetime  with  Sir 
Walter,  and  now  dragged  their  legs  from  their 
firesides  to  share  in  his  new  venture.  Knowing 
the  nature  of  the  crews,  the  Admiral  published 
orders  to  discipline  his  thirteen  ships  and  thousand 
men.  He  forbade  all  swearing,  dicing,  and  card- 
playing,  and  promised  to  hang  any  man,  gentle 
or  simple,  who  should  play  the  common  pirate 
and  conduct  himself  frowardly  towards  the  Indians. 
To  ensure  that  devoutness,  without  which  great 
enterprises  perish  untimely,  he  had  a  reading  of 
the  Scriptures  and  prayers  said  night  and  morning. 

FAIRY    GOLD.  175 

We  were  royally  feasted  by  Master  Trelawny, 
Mayor  of  Plymouth,  and  the  town  drums  beat 
our  company  aboard.  Then  came  foul  weather, 
and  after  being  forced  back  twice  to  port,  we 
anchored  in  Ireland  in  the  Bay  of  Kinsale.  Here 
of  old  Sir  Walter  had  campaigned,  and  his  friends 
flocked  to  greet  him.  My  lord  Boyle  flung  open 
to  us  his  great  house  in  Cork,  and  for  six  weeks 
we  abode  there,  repairing  the  damage  to  our 
ships  and  victualling  for  the  ocean.  I  will  record 
a  conversation  with  my  lord  Boyle,  on  a  day 
when  we  went  out  from  the  town  to  fly  hawks 
—  a  great  sport  of  the  Irish  gentlemen.  He 
examined  me  as  to  Sir  Walter's  standing  with 
the  law,  and  I  told  him  my  doubts.  He  whistled 
and  pulled  down  his  brows. 

"  'Tis  an  ill  trick,"  he  said,  "  to  set  a  gentleman 
playing  with  the  dice  loaded  against  him.  It  looks 
as  if  His  Majesty  were  spinning  a  crown  with  Sir 
Walter,  and  crying  for  one  face  c  I  win,'  and  for 
the  other  '  You  lose.'  If  I  were  your  Admiral, 
Captain  Keymis,  I  would  think  twice  before  I 
ventured  back  to  my  native  land.  Unless  he  get 
gold  enough  to  make  it  worth  the  King's  while 

176         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

to  pardon  him,  he  will  be  held  scapegoat  for 
every  blunder  in  the  last  ten  years.  I  hear  he 
holds  the  King  of  France's  commission.  Let  him 
take  foreign  service,  as  other  honest  men  have 
done  before  him.  I  have  risked  money  in  the 
Guiana  venture,  but  I  would  lose  my  share  a 
thousand  times  ere  I  would  see  Sir  Walter  come 
to  hurt." 

I  have  treasured  these  words  in  my  mind,  but 
I  have  not  yet  found  an  occasion  to  tell  the 

From  Cork  we  sailed  south  to  the  Grand 
Canaries,  and  had  sore  trouble  on  the  road  with 
Cyrus  Bayley,  of  the  ship  Southampton^  who  seized 
four  French  vessels,  and  would  have  plundered 
them.  But  the  Admiral  sternly  forbade  him, 
and  bought  from  the  Frenchmen  what  we  needed 
for  the  price  of  sixty-one  crowns.  This  Bayley 
was  a  violent,  lying  fellow,  who  deserted  us  at 
Lancerote,  and  went  home  to  spread  the  report 
that  the  man  who  had  restrained  him  from  piracy 
was  himself  a  pirate. 

In  November  we  came  to  the  shore  of  Guiana 
and  the  mouth  of  the  river  Caliana.  Affliction 

FAIRY    GOLD.  177 

had  pursued  us  over  the  ocean,  and  in  the 
Admiral's  flagship  over  forty-two  men  had  died, 
including  our  best  land-general,  Captain  Piggott ; 
our  only  refiner  of  metals ;  and  that  renowned 
scholar  Master  John  Talbot.  Sir  Walter  himself 
was  sick  of  a  fever  for  a  full  month,  and  would 
doubtless  have  died  but  for  the  fruit  we  had 
shipped  in  the  Canaries.  'Twas  a  voyage  of 
strange  portents.  For  five  days  we  sailed  through 
a  hot  tawny  mist,  and  off  the  isle  of  Trinidad  we 
witnessed  a  flight  of  fifteen  rainbows,  at  which  the 
crews  were  put  in  a  mortal  fear.  The  Admiral's 
sickness  had  set  up  mischief  among  the  men,  so 
that  they  wrangled  without  end  and  took  ill  to 
their  duties.  But  now  the  portents  we  had  seen 
brought  a  fit  of  piety,  and  they  would  attend  the 
reading  of  prayers  like  choir-boys.  I,  who  have 
all  my  life  sailed  the  seas,  rate  our  crews  but 
lowly.  They  have  not  the  spirit  of  those  who 
sailed  with  us  of  old,  neither  as  seamen  nor  as 
adventurers,  being  such  as  think  more  of  pay 
than  of  extending  the  realm  of  England.  The 
soldiers,  two  hundred  and  more,  are  of  better 
stock,  and  our  gentlemen  are  of  good  blood  and 

(1,562)  12 

178         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

high  courage.  God  send  we  do  not  find  a  task 
too  hard  for  our  strength,  for  we  have  much 
rotten  metal  which  will  snap  on  the  strain. 

We  lay  in  the  bay  of  the  Caliana  for  three 
weeks,  till  the  health  of  our  ship's  companies 
mended.  The  younger  men  were  eager  to  land, 
looking  to  see  gold  in  every  rock  and  an  Indian 
or  a  Spanish  captain  behind  every  tree.  The  first 
to  visit  us  was  Sir  Walter's  Indian,  whom  he 
called  Harry,  and  who  had  been  with  him  some 
time  in  the  Tower.  He  was  a  chief  in  the 
neighbourhood,  and  brought  a  great  gift  of  new 
bread,  venison,  and  all  manner  of  fruits,  which 
revived  our  wasted  appetites.  We  hailed  a  Dutch 
vessel  that  passed  by  us,  and  by  good  fortune  were 
thus  enabled  to  send  home  those  the  sickest  among 
us,  including  Captain  Peter  Alley,  who  since  we 
left  Kinsale  has  never  moved  his  head  from  a 
deadly  vertigo.  .  .  . 

The  expedition  to  the  Mine  has  now  been 
determined  on.  The  Admiral  is  still  so  weak 
that  he  can  scarce  walk  unaided  ;  at  any  time 
the  wind  blows  from  the  land  his  fever  rages. 
Beside,  there  is  the  peril  of  the  Spanish  fleet, 

FAIRY    GOLD.  179 

which  we  hear  has  been  despatched  from  Cadiz : 
and  the  Captains  are  unwilling  to  venture  up  the 
Orinoko  unless  he  remain  to  guard  the  river 
mouth.  The  Lieutenant -General,  Sir  Warham 
St.  Leger,  is  also  sick  of  a  dropsy,  so  it  is  resolved 
that  both  he  and  the  Admiral  shall  wait  behind 
with  the  heavy  vessels  to  keep  watch  in  the  rear 
of  the  expedition.  It  is  further  resolved  to  take 
the  five  ships  of  least  draught,  and  embark  in 
them  a  force  of  four  hundred  sailors  and  soldiers. 
These  five  ships  are  to  be  commanded  by  Captains 
Whitney,  King,  Smith,  Wollaston,  and  Hall.  Cap- 
tain George  Raleigh,  the  Admiral's  nephew,  leads 
the  land  force,  and  to  myself  is  intrusted  the 
search  for  the  Mine.  .  .  . 

I  am  burdened  with  the  cares  of  my  charge, 
and  yet  I  am  in  good  hope  of  a  fortunate  issue. 
When  I  landed  first  in  Guiana  there  were  no 
Spaniards  on  the  river  bank.  But  now  a  new 
city  hath  been  built,  San  Thome  by  name, 
which  stands  where  the  river  Caroni  enters  the 
Orinoko.  Of  this  project  I  heard  when  I  jour- 
neyed thither  in  the  year  1596,  the  year  after 
Sir  Walter's  visit.  But  the  Mine  which  had  then 

i8o         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

been  showed  me  by  the  Indians  is  thirty  miles 
and  more  down  stream,  and  but  eight  miles  from 
the  Orinoko  bank,  on  a  lesser  river  by  name  the 
Cumaca,  and  close  against  the  mountain  Iconuri. 
I  have  little  fear  of  a  Spanish  attack,  unless  news 
sent  from  Madrid  has  caused  them  to  guard  all  the 
waterways  of  the  country.  Sir  Walter  is  earnest 
with  me,  for  a  good  reason  which  I  can  well 
perceive,  not  to  engage  with  the  Spaniards  save  in 
the  last  extremity.  He  bade  me  camp  between 
the  Mine  and  San  Thome,  so  that  the  soldiers 
could  cover  the  vessels  in  the  case  of  a  sally 
from  the  town.  He  warned  me  expressly  to  risk 
no  pitched  battle  with  the  Spaniards.  "  For, 
Thomas,"  he  said,  "  a  few  gentlemen  excepted, 
what  a  scum  of  men  you  have  !  And  I  would 
not,  for  all  the  world,  receive  a  blow  from  the 
Spanish  to  the  dishonour  of  our  nation."  .  .  . 

To-morrow  at  dawn  we  start,  and  Sir  Walter 
hath  given  me  his  last  commands.  He  bade  me 
remember  that  his  nephew,  Captain  George,  was 
but  a  young  man,  and  that  he  relied  on  my 
judgment.  "  You  will  find  me,"  he  said,  "  at 
Punto  Gallo,  dead  or  alive.  And  if  you  find  not 

FAIRY    GOLD.  181 

my  ships  there,  you  will  find  their  ashes.  For 
I  will  fire  with  the  Galleons,  if  it  come  to  ex- 
tremity. But  run  I  will  never."  .  .  . 

The  City  of  San  Thome.    January  the  Ninth,  1618. 

I  resume  my  Diurnal,  but  in  dire  despair  and 
black  sorrow.  JFor  the  worst  of  all  mischances 
has  overtaken  us.  We  have  fought  a  bloody 
battle  with  the  Spaniard.  We  cannot  come  near 
the  Mine  for  the  strength  of  our  enemies.  And 
young  Walter  Raleigh,  the  Admiral's  son,  is  dead. 

I  have  little  heart  for  the  tale  of  our  ill- 
success.  From  the  first  I  might  have  guessed 
that  we  were  dedicate  to  misfortune,  for  all  our 
five  ships  were  foundered  in  the  channels  of  the 
Orinoko,  and  'twas  three  weeks  ere  we  came 
together  again  and  reached  the  plain  country 
where  the  Indians  dwell.  The  first  news  we 
had  of  the  Spaniard  was  from  an  Indian  of  Assa- 
pana,  who  told  us  that  a  new  Governor,  one 
Diego  de  Acuna,  had  come  post-haste  from  Spain. 
The  name  was  that  of  the  Spanish  envoy  in 
London,  and  I  feared  that  it  boded  small  good. 
Guns  were  fired  on  the  banks  several  days  at  night- 

1 82         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

fall,  but  they  did  us  no  harm,  and  we  believed 
them  the  work  of  forest  Indians,  who  were  ever  ill- 
disposed.  On  New  Year's  eve,  as  I  made  my 
reckoning,  we  were  near  the  mouth  of  the  stream 
Cumaca,  on  which  stood  the  Mine,  and  it  was 
our  purpose  to  sail  all  night,  and  in  the  morning 
of  the  New  Year  to  land  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  Orinoko,  some  fifteen  miles,  as  we  thought, 
short  of  San  Thome.  But  'twas  here  we  griev- 
ously erred.  For,  though  'twas  unknown  to  me, 
the  city  had  been  transferred  down  the  river  to 
the  mouth  of  the  Cumaca,  and  we  sailed  past  its 
forts  unwittingly  in  the  darkness.  Thereby  we 
suffered  the  Spaniard  to  cut  us  off  from  the 
Admiral,  and  nothing  remained  but  to  fight. 

We  landed  next  morning  and  formed  a  camp, 
and  that  evening  about  nine  we  were  ambuscaded 
by  the  Spanish  and  thrown  into  confusion. 
Nay,  we  had  all  been  broken  to  pieces,  had  not 
some  twenty  of  our  gentlemen  rallied  and  made 
a  great  stand.  We  drove  the  ambuscaders  to- 
wards the  town,  of  whose  correct  situation  we 
were  now  but  too  well  informed,  and  there  by 
the  walls  we  found  the  whole  Spanish  force 

FAIRY    GOLD.  183 

drawn  up  to  greet  us.  Young  Walter  Raleigh 
led  the  pikemen,  and  behind  were  the  musketeers 
under  Captain  George.  Now  it  is  a  rule  of  war- 
fare that  the  men  with  guns  should  precede  those 
with  cold  iron,  that  the  shots  may  weaken  the 
enemy  before  the  pikes  complete  his  destruction. 
But  on  this  occasion  all  rules  were  forgotten,  and 
we  thought  only  of  how  quickest  to  drive  the 
Spaniard  out  of  the  country.  Around  the  town 
was  a  savannah,  and  in  the  moonlight  we  could 
see  the  steel  headpieces  of  the  Spanish  gleaming 
above  the  high  grass.  Young  Walter  cried  out 
at  the  sight.  "  Come  on,  my  stout  hearts  ! '  he 
cried ;  "  these  be  they  who  would  bar  England 
from  the  West." 

Then  I  know  not  what  happened,  for  I  was 
with  Captain  George  and  the  musketeers.  I 
was  told  that  the  brave  lad  engaged  the  whole 
Spanish  line,  and  fell  with  a  dozen  lance  wounds 
in  his  breast.  His  last  words  were,  "  On,  sweet 
lads  !  Lord  ha'  mercy  on  me,  and  prosper  your 
enterprise  ! '  When  the  pikemen  saw  him  dead 
they  were  maddened  to  fury,  and  ere  the  mus- 
keteers joined  them  had  overthrown  the  Spanish 

184         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

army.  They  slaughtered  grimly  and  quietly, 
and  Captain  Cosmor  with  his  own  hand  killed 
the  Spanish  Governor.  Some  fled  into  the 
town  to  the  Monastery  of  Saint  Francis,  and 
these  we  slew,  till  by  daylight  there  were  no 
fighting  men  alive  save  such  as  had  fled  in  boats 
to  the  river  island  of  La  Ceyva. 

My  first  thought  was  joy,  for  I  perceived  that 
we  had  taken  the  chief  Spanish  fort  in  the  coun- 
tryside. But  next  day,  when  I  had  taken  counsel 
of  Captain  George,  my  mind  changed  to  a  great 
gloom.  For  there  were  we  embroiled  with 
Spain  before  we  had  proved  the  Mine,  and  if  we 
failed  in  the  latter  enterprise  we  should  be  held 
no  better  than  pirates.  Above  all,  we  had  lost  the 
Admiral's  son,  who  was  a  most  noble  and  gallant 
youth  and  the  apple  of  his  father's  eye.  My  despair 
was  increased  when  I  found  a  parcel  of  papers  in 
the  Governor's  house,  and  among  them  the  plans 
of  our  voyage,  which  had  been  sent  by  King  James 
to  the  King  of  Spain.  Then  I  perceived  very 
clearly  that  the  words  of  my  lord  Boyle  were  true, 
and  that,  whatever  befell,  in  England  we  should 
be  accounted  malefactors.  What  profit  would  be 

FAIRY    GOLD.  185 

a  basket  or  two  of  rich  ore  when  we  were  a 
foredoomed  sacrifice  to  ensure  Spanish  friend- 
ship ? 

We  buried  young  Walter  near  the  high  altar 
in  the  church  of  San  Thome,  and  in  the  same 
grave  laid  Captain  Cosmor — him  who  had  slain 
the  Governor  and  had  fallen  later  from  a  chance 
musket  shot.  Then  I  sat  down  and  wrote  a 
letter  to  the  Admiral  at  Punto  Gallo,  setting 
forth  my  sad  intelligence,  and  likewise  for- 
warding to  him  the  papers  I  had  found  in  San 
Thome.  .  .  . 

Meantime  we  are  suffering  much  from  sick- 
ness and  famine.  The  Spaniards  hold  all  the 
neighbourhood,  and  from  the  isle  of  La  Ceyva 
they  send  out  expeditions  which  cut  off  any 
Englishman  who  ventures  abroad.  The  rabble 
of  our  men  are  ill-disposed,  and  but  for  the 
compulsion  of  the  gentlemen  among  us  would 
flee  down  the  river  or  submit  to  the  enemy. 
Would  to  God  we  had  a  hundred  of  the  stout 
Devon  lads  who  sailed  with  us  twenty  years  past ! 
Our  single  slender  hope  is  the  Mine,  and  I  know 
not  how  to  get  to  it.  ... 

1 86         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

"January  the  Seventeenth. 

Our  case  grows  daily  more  desperate.  Seven 
days  ago  I  equipped  two  boats,  and  with  Sir 
John  Hampden  and  a  matter  of  forty  soldiers  and 
miners,  set  out  up  the  river  Cumaca  for  the 
Mine  of  which  I  knew.  Our  men  were  in  bad 
heart,  for  they  saw  a  Spaniard  behind  every  bush, 
and  were  weak  with  the  heat  and  the  low  feed- 
ing and  the  rotten  water.  When  I  had  travelled 
this  way  before,  it  had  been  through  friendly 
country  where  no  ambuscade  was  feared,  there- 
fore I  had  not  marked  the  land  with  the  care 
which  a  soldier  gives  to  a  hostile  territory.  I 
purposed  to  keep  to  the  river  till  the  Mine  was 
reached,  and  then  fortify  a  camp  to  dig  for  ore. 
By  starting  in  the  dusk  of  early  morning  I 
thought  that  we  should  escape  the  notice  of  the 
Spanish  on  the  isle  of  La  Ceyva. 

But  some  traitor  had  told  our  plans,  and  ere 
we  reached  the  isle  their  boats  ran  out  from  the 
shore  and  opened  a  brisk  fire  so  that  nine  of 
those  in  the  first  of  our  boats  were  wounded  or 
slain  outright.  At  this  they  fell  into  a  panic, 

FAIRY    GOLD.  187 

and  cried  to  be  led  back  ;  and  as  we  had  no  guess 
at  the  number  of  the  foe,  myself  and  Sir  John 
resolved  to  return  to  the  town  for  a  larger  force. 
But  when  we  with  difficulty  reached  San  Thome, 
Captain  George  Raleigh  was  urgent  with  us  to 
let  the  project  sleep.  I  laboured  to  make  him 
understand  that  in  the  Mine  lay  our  sole  chance 
of  salvation.  He  replied  that,  having  fallen  out 
with  Spain,  there  was  no  hope  of  mining,  but 
the  most  we  could  do  was  to  push  on  up  the 
Orinoko  to  get  Indian  allies. 

He  left  me  yesterday,  taking  all  the  boats  and 
a  hundred  men.  So  low  have  we  fallen  from 
death  and  the  taking  of  prisoners,  that  I  have 
scarce  a  hundred  remaining  to  hold  the  town.  I 
dare  not  leave  the  walls,  for  we  are  hourly 
attacked,  and  since  many  of  our  fellows  are  light- 
headed from  sickness  and  stray  beyond  the  de- 
fences we  lose  men  at  every  assault.  God  help 
the  poor  souls  who  fall  into  Spanish  hands,  for 
they  will  suffer  the  torture  which  I  have  seen  long 
ago  on  the  Main  !  I  have  warned  them  of  these 
terrors,  but  the  most  be  such  scum  that  they  can- 
not of  their  own  will  choose  a  manly  death.  .  .  . 

1 88         SIR   WALTER    RALEIGH. 

February  the  Tenth. 

Yesterday  Captain  George  returned  down  the 
river,  with  no  news  save  that  ten  of  his  men 
were  dead  of  fever.  It  seems  that  the  chief, 
Topiawari,  who  loved  Sir  Walter,  is  long  dead, 
and  the  people  so  reduced  by  war  that  they  can 
show  no  force  against  the  Spaniard.  We  in  the 
town  have  suffered  in  the  meantime  more  than 
flesh  can  bear.  No  man  dared  sleep,  for  at 
all  hours  our  enemies  beset  us.  They  made  a 
cross  in  the  sight  of  the  walls  and  crucified 
thereon  two  of  our  sailors,  so  that  we  were  beside 
ourselves  with  panic  and  sick  with  fury.  We 
could  not  attack  them,  for  they  were  everywhere 
in  the  savannah,  lurking  among  trees  and  holes ; 
but  our  weak  defence  was  but  too  easy  a  target 
for  their  enterprise.  By  God's  grace  we  have 
held  the  city,  but  I  have  now  scarce  ninety  men, 
and  these  the  weakest  and  most  knavish  of  the 
crews.  .  .  . 

We  have  held  a  council,  and  are  of  a  mind 
to  return.  Captain  George  says  he  cannot  hold 
his  men,  and  Lord  knows  my  fellows  would  break 


at  the  first  chance.  I  am  tormented  by  thoughts 
of  the  Mine,  for  from  my  window  I  can  see  the 
Mount  Iconuri  as  near  as  Richmond  Hill  to 
Wapping.  I  need  but  a  basketful  of  ore  to  give 
a  colour  to  our  honesty  ;  but  'tis  as  remote  as 
if  'twere  Manoa  itself.  We  are  resolved  to  fire 
the  town,  and,  carrying  what  spoil  we  have  got, 
to  hasten  down  the  river  to  the  ships  at  Punto 
Gallo.  Even  now  we  are  piling  grass  and  pre- 
paring torches.  I  know  not  how  to  face  my 
Admiral,  whom  I  fear  I  have  foully  betrayed. 
Yet  I  have  done  my  utmost,  though  the  issue  is 
vanity.  Would  to  God  I  had  laid  my  bones  by 
young  Walter,  for  I  foresee  no  peace  for  me  on 
earth.  .  .  . 

Off  Punto  Gallo  in  the  Isle  of  Trinidad.     March 

the  Third. 

I  am  an  old  voyager,  but  I  think  my  ventures 
are  over.  Yesterday  at  nightfall  we  reached  the 
Admiral's  ship,  and  found  Sir  Walter  so  aged  by 
fever  and  sorrow  for  his  son  that  I  had  scarcely 
known  him.  There  were  black  looks  and  bitter 
words  as  I  went  on  board  the  Destiny^  for  the 

1 9o         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

tale  of  my  failure  had  spread,  and  all  men  blamed 
me  as  the  author  of  the  expedition  and  its  chief 
destroyer.  Little  I  cared  so  long  as  I  had  the 
heart  of  my  master.  But  Sir  Walter  received 
me  with  strange  glances  and  a  face  of  death. 

"  Where  is  the  gold,"  he  says,  "  with  the 
promise  of  which  I  have  bought  my  life  ?  Where 
is  the  gold  you  boasted  of,  Thomas  ?  ' 

I  stammered  my  tale,  but  he  scarce  listened. 

"  'Twas  fairy  gold,"  he  said,  with  dreamy 
eyes.  "  We  have  both  been  to  the  rainbow's 
end,  I  fear.  But  I  trusted  in  you,  Thomas,  and 
now  there  is  no  salvation.  Cerberus  with  a 
hundred  heads  waits  me,  and  I  have  nothing  to 
stop  his  mouth." 

All  this  he  said  so  gently  that  it  broke  my 
heart.  I  fell  to  weeping,  and  dropped  on  my 
knees  by  his  feet.  When  I  looked  up  his  face 
had  turned  to  wrath. 

"  You  let  my  son  be  slain,"  he  said.  "  After 
that,  what  mattered  it  how  many  fell  ?  Though 
it  had  cost  you  a  hundred  men  to  take  the  Mine, 
'twas  your  plain  business.  Make  me  no  excuses, 
Captain  Keymis.  You  have  failed  miserably  in 

FAIRY    GOLD.  191 

your  duty,  and  must  now  answer  to  His  Majesty 
and  the  Council.  God  wots  I  have  enough  on 
my  shoulders  without  taking  the  burden  of  your 
cowardice.  .  .  ." 

I  came  back  to  my  cabin  with  a  dizzy  head. 
I  prayed  that  his  anger  would  last,  for  'twas  less 
terrible  than  his  sorrow.  All  evening  I  sat 
writing  a  letter  to  my  lord  Arundel,  setting  forth 
my  case,  for  he  was  a  chief  promoter  of  the 
Expedition.  Food  I  have  not  eaten  for  three 
days,  but  I  thirst  exceedingly.  .  .  . 

This  morning  I  have  taken  the  letter  to  the 
Admiral  to  seek  his  approval.  But  he  would 
have  none  of  it.  "  I  pardon  all  things,"  he  said, 
"  to  him  who  serves  faithfully ;  but  you  have 
betrayed  me.  You  must  bear  the  burden  of  your 
treason  alone,  for  I  will  have  no  share  in  it." 
Then  he  turned  away,  and  when  I  asked  if  this 
were  his  fixed  resolution,  he  said  he  should  have 
no  other. 

Then  my  mind  filled  with  a  great  clearness.  I 
saw  that  I  had  erred,  and  that  in  a  desperate 
venture  I  had  been  too  little  desperate.  I  thanked 
God  for  his  anger,  which  was  merciful  and  right, 

1 92         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

for  had  he  been  kind  and  sorrowful  I  should  have 
been  tortured  beyond  human  bearing.  I  told 
him  that  I  saw  my  folly,  and  knew  what  course 
to  take.  "  I  have  sinned,"  I  said,  "  and  welcome 
my  punishment.  But  I  claim  a  boon  for  old 
fellowship's  sake.  Grant  me  your  forgiveness, 
that  I  sleep  easy." 

"  I  forgive  you,"  he  said  in  a  weary  voice.  "  I 
cannot  cherish  resentment,  for  I  have  no  heart 

left  in  me." 

#  #  *  #  # 

I  am  lodged  in  my  former  cabin  in  the  Destiny. 
Above  my  couch  there  hangs  a  picture  of  the 
Magdalen  which  Sir  Walter  gave  me,  for  he 
loved  to  take  pictures  with  him  on  his  voyages. 
Even  as  Christ  was  merciful  to  that  sinner,  so  I 
pray  now  His  mercy  on  me. 

There  is  no  other  way  of  it.  I  must  run  to 
port.  If  I  die  all  men  will  blame  me,  and  haply 
some  of  the  load  will  shift  from  Sir  Walter's 
shoulders  ;  whereas  if  I  live  and  return  to  England, 
I  will  but  confuse  matters ;  for  I  have  a  foolish 
tongue  and  small  discretion,  as  was  seen  long  ago 
in  Lord  Cobham's  business.  I  am  an  old  hulk, 

FAIRY    GOLD.  193 

now  these  fifty  years  at  sea,  and  'tis  time  I  found 
a  haven. 

I  write  these  words  more  especially  for  the  eye 
of  Sir  Walter,  who  will  find  them  at  my  death. 
I  have  followed  him  through  good  and  evil  for- 
tune ;  and  now,  to  my  grief,  am  the  innocent 
cause  of  his  undoing.  God  made  me  a  frail  man, 
full  of  fancies  and  prone  to  foolish  confidence. 
But  I  have  ever  been  loyal  in  heart  to  the  greatest 
Captain  I  ever  served,  and  I  ask  no  boon  of 
God  but  that  He  deliver  him  from  his  dis- 
tresses, and  forgive  the  manner  of  my  death, 
seeing  that  my  purpose  is  honest.  I  have  no 
kith  nor  kin.  For  my  fame  I  care  not,  but  I 
would  pray  Sir  Walter  to  think  of  me  as  I  was 
in  the  days  when  we  first  adventured  in  Guiana. 
I  say  no  more.  Last  year's  nest  is  empty,  as  the 
Spaniards  say.  .  .  . 

Lest  any  man  be  suspect,  I  write  that  I  die 
by  my  own  hand — by  pistol,  if  the  powder  be  not 
damp,  or  by  my  Turk's  dagger.  The  pistol  Sir 
Walter  gave  to  me  long  ago.  .  .  . 

(1,562)  13 

Chapter  IX. 

"  Go,  Soul,  the  body's  guest, 

Upon  a  thankless  errand  : 
Fear  not  to  touch  the  best ; 

The  truth  shall  be  thy  warrant : 
Go,  since  I  needs  must  die, 
And  give  the  world  the  lie. 

Tell  men  of  high  condition, 

That  manage  the  estate, 
Their  purpose  is  ambition, 

Their  practice  only  hate  : 
And  if  they  once  reply, 
Then  give  them  all  the  lie. 

.  .  .  •  • 

Tell  fortune  of  her  blindness  ; 

Tell  nature  of  decay  ; 
Tell  friendship  of  unkindness  ; 

Tell  justice  of  delay  : 
And  if  they  will  reply, 
Then  give  them  all  the  lie." 


~>    x      Wi.'-AS;.^  "*<*'  <• 

.  .      '  "C»        .       «.    ^w^V  -  V      T '  s 

.  m  ?^;^*- 

m-M^m^     -m  •* 

•  -a.-^l     ^   -      M  v>  :   :  l 

•^M^:-.  .'^-£2^ I 

i     LIBR/ 

f~>  •'    •     f  NO 

TILD-      h        NDATI 

Chapter   IX. 



.  .  .  T  HAVE  never  seen  such  a  crew  of  pitiful 
mean  rascals.  The  most  had  the  visages 
of  dockyard  rats,  and  souls  as  ill-favoured  as  their 
skins.  They  had  come  out  for  lust  of  gold,  and 
thought  only  that  their  pockets  were  empty, 
though  God  knows  'twas  their  own  cowardly 
and  rebellious  spirits  that  made  them  so.  I  mind 
when  we  lay  at  Punto  Gallo  there  was  a  page- 
boy spread  a  tale  that  Sir  Walter's  cabin  was 
full  of  money.  Presently  some  of  my  fine  gallows- 
birds  conspired  to  set  the  Admiral  ashore  and  sail 
off  with  his  flagship  and  his  treasure  ;  and,  being 
of  so  weak  a  spirit,  came  crawling  to  me  to  seek 
my  leadership.  I  drew  my  sword,  and  with  the 

*  From  the  notes  of  the  Frenchman,  Jacques  Pommerol,  who  afterwards 
forsook  the  sea,  settled  at  Louvaine,  and  wrote  an  epic  in  the  classic  manner 
on  his  adventures,  which  he  called  the  Jacquesiade. 

196         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

flat  of  it  gave  them  a  mighty  lesson,  and  then 
with  the  point  of  it  drove  them  forthwith  to  the 
Admiral,  and  discovered  to  him  their  treason. 
Figure  to  yourself  the  situation  of  a  gentleman 
in  such  knavish  company  ! 

You  must  know  that,  with  Captain  Keymis 
dead  and  half  our  force  destroyed,  we  had  given 
up  hope  of  success  in  Guiana,  though  the  Admiral 
was  still  hot  for  a  return  to  San  Thome,  whence 
he  promised  to  bring  a  load  of  gold  or  leave  his 
body  by  his  son's.  His  captains  looked  coldly 
at  the  project,  and  some  of  the  baser  sort  were  all 
for  remaining  in  the  islands,  and  overhauling 
Spanish  ships  from  the  Main.  Piracy  is  but  a 
dirty  trade,  but  I  held  this  to  be  no  piracy  but 
lawful  war,  seeing  that  Spain  has  ever  treated  all 
English  voyagers  as  trespassers  worthy  of  a  felon's 
death.  'Tis  idle,  I  held,  to  prate  of  peace  when 
there  is  no  peace,  and  in  the  Indian  Seas  there  is 
never  aught  but  war.  Had  I  followed  my  own 
will  I  would  have  favoured  this  enterprise,  but 
Sir  Walter  was  set  against  it,  and  I  had  no  mind 
to  cross  his  purpose.  So  I  opposed  the  designs 
of  the  captains,  and  warned  the  Admiral  that 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  197 

mutiny  was  in  the  air.  But  the  boldest  com- 
mander on  earth  cannot  hold  a  flotilla  of  rebels, 
and  at  the  isle  of  Granada  the  captains  Whitney 
and  Wollaston  sailed  away  on  their  own  errands. 
I  have  heard  no  more  of  them.  I  trust  their 
traitorous  bodies  have  long  ago  decked  a  gibbet 
at  Cartagena. 

We  purposed  at  first  to  make  Sir  Walter's 
colony  of  Virginia,  to  victual  our  ships  and  rest 
our  men,  with  the  notion  of  seeking  Guiana 
again  next  year.  But  the  temper  of  the  crews 
was  such  that,  had  we  landed  at  Virginia,  they 
would  have  fled  to  the  woods  or  joined  the  cor- 
sarios  that  frequent  these  coasts.  Presently  Sir 
Walter,  whose  mind  moved  slow  from  his  great 
sorrow,  came  round  to  another  opinion,  and  at  a 
council  of  war — which  I  attended  as  chief  of  the 
soldiers  during  Captain  George  Raleigh's  illness — 
it  was  resolved  to  sail  for  home.  We  stayed 
awhile  at  St.  Christopher's  Island,  while  the 
Admiral  wrote  letters  to  the  King.  These  he 
sent  home  in  his  fly-boat  by  means  of  his  cousin, 
Master  Herbert,  and  with  him  he  despatched  the 
idlest  and  most  rebellious  of  the  crews.  Had  I 


been  Master  Herbert  I  would  have  feared  for  my 
throat  in  the  company  of  such  a  rabble.  But  it 
seems  that  God  favoured  gallantry,  for  I  have 
heard  that  he  reached  England  in  safety. 

You  must  know  that  we  hourly  expected  news 
of  the  Spanish  galleons,  which  had  been  sent  out 
to  take  us  captive.  Our  captains  were  in  great 
terror  of  falling  into  their  hands,  for  they  had 
some  knowledge  of  the  tender  mercies  of  Spain, 
and  we  had  no  more  than  four  ships.  Had  we 
sailed  the  straight  course  for  home,  it  was  feared 
we  should  meet  with  this  fleet  or  other  Spanish 
ships  of  war,  and  we  were  in  no  mettle  for  fight- 
ing. Sir  Walter  advised  that  we  make  our 
course  due  north  by  the  isle  called  New  Found 
Land,  from  which  there  is  a  way  to  England 
over  a  narrower  ocean.  When  we  sailed  from 
St.  Christopher's  our  fleet  was  the  Admiral's 
Destiny,  on  which  I  sailed  with  the  best  part  of 
the  fighting  men,  while  Sir  John  Ferme,  Captain 
Pennington,  and  Captain  King  had  the  other 
ships  in  charge.  I  thought  ill  of  these  captains, 
save  only  King,  who  was  an  old  lieutenant  of  Sir 
Walter's  and  a  stubborn,  honest,  rough  fellow. 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  199 

We  saw  little  of  our  consorts,  for  off  the  coasts 
of  Virginia  we  came  into  a  nest  of  storms,  and 
were  sore  delayed  for  more  than  a  fortnight. 
By  the  first  days  of  May  we  were  well  into  the 
northern  seas,  where  the  winds  cut  like  sword- 
blades  and  the  mist  would  wrap  us  round  in  chilly 
garments.  Those  who  had  sailed  this  way  before 
were  in  mortal  fear  of  floating  ice,  which  comes 
down  from  the  Pole,  and  has  wrecked  ere  this 
many  a  goodly  ship.  Half  of  us  were  ill  of  the 
scurvy,  and,  though  the  sharp  air  had  cured  us  of 
the  common  fever,  we  were  taken  with  fits  of 
ague  and  rheum  so  that  scarce  one  man  was  free 
of  sickness.  In  my  day  I  have  seen  many  com- 
panies of  broken  men,  but  never  have  I  beheld  a 
crew  so  desponding  and  weary  as  sailed  with  us 
those  wintry  waters.  Ill-fortune  takes  the  steel 
from  a  man's  heart,  and  that  rabble  of  ours  were 
but  yeast  and  mire.  First  they  moped  and 
despaired,  and  then  they  threatened,  so  that  soon 
every  man  had  a  dark  countenance  and  murder 
in  his  eyes.  Meantime  in  his  own  cabin  the 
Admiral  sat  alone  with  his  grievous  thoughts. 

One  day  I  sought  him  and  bade  him  be  wary. 



200         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

"  There  are  those  here,"  I  said,  "  who  bear  you 
little  love.  You  may  find  a  knife  in  your  back 
some  fine  morning." 

'Twould  be  welcome,"  he  said  wearily. 
Do  you  think  I  have  any  room  left  for  fear, 
when  I  have  buried  my  all  ?  As  well  a  ship- 
man's  knife  as  any  other  ending." 

"  Nevertheless  you  are  our  Captain,"  said  I, 
"  and  if  you  fall  'twill  go  hard  with  my  honest  self 
and  a  score  of  lads  who  trust  their  lives  to  me." 

"  Then  take  the  lead,"  he  answered.  "  I  am 
no  better  than  a  passenger.  Sail  where  you 
please,  my  good  Jacques,  so  long  as  you  leave  me 
alone."  And  he  turned  wearily  away. 

The  Admiral  had  long  cast  a  spell  over  me,  so 
that  I  loved  and  reverenced  him.  But  now 
God's  hand  was  heavy  upon  him,  and  I  was  fain 
to  ease  his  burden.  With  his  consent.  I  took 
upon  myself  the  captaincy,  and  I  promise  you  I 
brought  that  rabble  into  some  order.  There 
were  twenty  lads  who  had  fought  by  my  side  in 
the  Low  Countries,  and  with  their  aid  I  kept  a 
fair  discipline.  I  could  see  anger  and  scowling 
wherever  I  went,  till  soon  I  fancied  that  a  sea- 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  201 

man's  knife  was  more  likely  to  find  my  back  than 
Sir  Walter's. 

One  night  as  I  sat  alone  at  supper — for  Captain 
George  was  still  sick,  and  Sir  Walter  supped  alone 
— a  page-boy  came  down  the  ladder  as  though  the 
Devil  were  at  his  heels.  He  bumped  heavily  on 
the  floor,  and  when  I  picked  him  up  showed  a 
face  like  a  dish-clout. 

"  Mutiny  ! '  he  cries.  "  They  are  cutting 
throats  in  the  fo'c's'le.  The  men  have  got  at  the 
muskets,  and  are  fighting  for  the  powder-barrels." 

It  took  me  no  longer  than  a  breath  to  spring  up 
the  ladder  and  run  down  the  deck  to  the  forepart 
of  the  ship.  We  were  rolling  heavily,  and  I  near 
broke  my  head  on  the  bulwarks.  I  heard  no 
shots,  but  from  the  fo'c's'le  came  the  murmur  of 
men  in  close  and  deadly  conflict.  I  had  rather 
hear  a  yelling  like  wild  cats  than  that  desperate 

A  fellow  had  been  set  with  a  musket  to  guard 
the  fo'c's'le  ladder.  There  was  but  the  one  thing 
to  do.  I  jumped  clean  down  the  steps,  alighting 
plump  on  his  shoulders,  and  knocking  man  and 
musket  endways.  In  a  second  I  was  on  my  feet, 

202         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

roaring  to  the  dogs  to  lay  down  their  arms.  I 
saw  what  I  had  feared.  Some  half-dozen  of  my 
lads  were  pinned  in  a  corner  where  a  door  led  to 
the  powder  store,  and  against  them  was  a  great 
press  of  seamen  fighting  desperately  with  dirks  to 
win  an  entrance. 

My  shouts  won  a  moment's  respite.  A  dozen 
faces  turned  on  me,  their  eyes  bright  with  panic 
and  murder.  Then  I  reflected  that  I  had  no  sort 
of  arms. 

"Every  dog  to  his  place  !"  I  roared.  "I  have 
a  gunner  now  standing  by  the  powder.  In 
three  minutes,  if  I  forbid  him  not,  he  will 
blow  this  ship  and  all  in  it  to  the  skies.  I 
care  little  for  death,  but  the  sight  of  you  will 
cheer  the  Devil." 

They  believed  me,  or  at  any  rate  the  resolution 
in  my  voice  awed  them.  The  press  slackened, 
and  I  tore  men  out  of  it  till  my  fellows  could 
breathe.  Help  was  on  the  way,  for  I  saw  the 
ladder-hole  filling  with  my  men-at-arms.  I  was 
half  stifled,  but  by  dint  of  much  buffeting  I  got 
the  mob  separated,  and  presently  had  the  muskets 
and  knives  from  their  hands. 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  203 

The  worst  I  had  pinioned  and  set  soldiers  to 
guard  them. 

"  Now,"  said  I,  "  I  am  about  to  hold  an 
inquisition.  You  will  assemble  on  deck,  and  I 
will  have  the  truth  of  this  conduct." 

I  had  them  drawn  up  by  the  foremast,  the 
leaders  in  my  soldiers'  charge,  and  the  others,  a 
sullen  crowd,  huddled  against  the  bulwarks.  A 
pale  moon  shone  from  a  watery  sky,  and  ever 
and  anon  a  wrack  of  cloud  would  darken  the 
heavens.  A  lantern  swung  from  a  nail  on  the 
mast,  flickering  with  every  gust.  I  sat  down 
on  a  barrel  with  a  pistol  on  my  knees.  "  Now 
for  the  meaning  of  this  treason,"  said  I. 

At  first  no  man  spoke.  Then,  when  I  promised 
hanging,  a  fellow  found  his  voice.  He  had  an 
honest,  foolish  face,  and  I  had  marvelled  to  find 
him  in  the  business. 

"  We  fear  to  go  back,"  he  said  gruffly.  "  Some 
of  us  have  fallen  out  with  the  law,  and  if 
we  land  in  England  will  march  straight  to  the 

"  Ay,  I  can  well  believe  it,"  I  said.  "  And  to 
your  former  ill  deeds  you  have  added  mutiny  on 

2o4         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

the  high  seas,  for  which  hanging  is  too  easy  a 

The  fellow  was  still  resolute.  "  We  came  out 
to  Guiana  in  hope  of  gold,  and  gold  meant  par- 
don. But  we  have  no  gold,  so  we  look  to  save 
our  necks.  It  is  but  human  nature,  master." 

"  How  many  of  you  be  gallows-birds  ?  '  I 

It  seemed  there  was  a  round  dozen,  and  their 
crimes  were  pitifully  small.  One  had  stolen 
beyond  the  value  of  forty  shillings.  Another 
had  lain  in  Exeter  jail  for  cattle-lifting,  and  had 
broken  prison  the  night  before  his  hanging.  One 
had  fired  the  stacks  of  an  enemy  ;  one  had  slain 
an  innkeeper  in  a  brawl ;  while  still  another  had 
beaten  a  King's  Justice  for  old  scores.  My  heart 
warmed  to  such  trivial  malefactors. 

"  If  that  be  your  grievance,  lads,"  I  said,  "  I 
can  promise  that  it  will  be  mended.  The  Ad- 
miral will  land  you  in  Ireland,  that  you  may  be 
out  of  the  King's  danger.  I  have  no  love  for 
the  laws  that  oppress  the  poor  and  let  the  rich 
go  free.  Keep  your  minds  easy.  But,  touching 
this  late  conduct  of  yours,  you  will  go  on  bread 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  205 

and  water  for  five  days.  And  those  who  incited 
it  will  have  twenty  lashes  apiece.  To  your 
quarters  ! >: 

But  no  man  moved,  and  I  could  see  by  their 
eyes  'twas  no  common  mutiny.  The  same  fellow 
spake  again  : — 

"Your  pardon,  sir,  but  we  have  not  showed 
all  that  is  in  our  hearts.  We  would  save  our 
own  necks,  but  there  is  another  neck  in  deadly 
peril.  Whatever  our  danger  from  the  law,  the 
Admiral's  is  tenfold  greater  ;  at  least  so  folks  say. 
He  is  going  home  to  death.  We  would  restrain 
him,  master." 

Then  I  cursed  them  roundly,  for  venturing  to 
lay  their  idle  tongues  to  Sir  Walter's  name.  I 
banned  them  up  and  down  the  skies  for  presum- 
ing to  interfere  with  their  betters.  But  the  same 
thought  had  always  been  in  my  own  head,  and  I 
was  amazed  to  find  so  much  reason  in  the  swabs. 

The  man  never  winced,  but  looked  at  me  with 
honest,  dog-like  eyes. 

"  Presumption  or  no,  master,  it  is  death  for 
Sir  Walter,  and  we  of  this  ship  would  save  him. 
We  know  him  for  a  good  captain,  and  would 

206         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

plead  with  him  and  keep  him  out  of  England 
He  hath  many  crows  to  pluck  with  the  Dons, 
and  here  is  the  whole  ocean  for  the  plucking. 
We  think  as  how  he  can  serve  England  better  by 
keeping  the  high  seas  than  by  putting  his  neck 
under  the  King's  girdle." 

I  told  them  I  had  heard  enough,  and  sent  them 
packing.  But  the  fear  of  those  tarry-souled 
knaves  had  infected  my  own  thoughts.  I  went 
to  Sir  Walter's  cabin,  but  found  him  asleep.  As 
I  knew  that  of  late  he  had  slept  little,  I  had  not 
the  heart  to  wake  him,  but  retired  to  my  own 
quarters  and  meditated  till  the  small  hours. 

Next  morning  we  were  come  into  a  pleasant 
sea,  with  the  sun  shining  and  a  favouring  west 
wind.  I  went  to  the  Admiral  and  found  him  on 
deck  sniffing  the  breeze — the  first  time  for  days 
that  he  had  been  forth  of  his  cabin.  He  faced 
me  with  a  brisker  countenance  and  gave  me  a 
cheerful  good-morning. 

"  Last  night  I  slept,"  he  said.  "  For  a  little  I 
contrived  to  forget,  and  this  morning  I  am  the 
better  for  it.  You  look  grey  about  the  eyelidss 
Master  Jacques." 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  207 

"  I  have  cause,"  said  I.  "  Last  night,  while 
you  slept,  I  was  quelling  a  mutiny.  .  .  .  Nay, 
nay,  sir,  do  not  mistake.  I  have  no  hurts. 
'Twas  an  innocent  and  weakly  rising.  We  carry 
some  gallows-birds  aboard,  and  they  feared  to  land 
in  England.  In  your  name  I  promised  them 
the  boon  of  Irish  soil.  But  they  pled  for  more 
than  themselves,  for  there  is  a  kind  of  decency  in 
the  rascals.  They  are  mortally  concerned  about 
their  Admiral's  fate." 

Raleigh  looked  far  out  to  sea.  "  There  is  a 
magnanimity  about  salt  water,"  he  said.  "  It 
tinctures  very  sorry  knaves  with  kindliness.  And 
what  would  they  have  me  do  ? ' 

"  Like  them,  evade  England.  I  think  they 
would  have  you  turn  pirate,  that  you  may  get 
back  from  the  galleons  something  of  what  Spain 
has  cost  you." 

"  And  your  thoughts,  good  Jacques  ? '  he 

"  Oh,  as  for  me,  I  think  piracy  a  sorry  trade, 
but  under  your  flag  'twould  be  fair  and  equal 
war.  I  have  pondered  the  matter  during  the 
night  watches,  and  this  is  my  counsel.  You  are 

2o8         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

too  great  a  leader  to  waste  on  the  scurvy  tribe  of 
your  ill-wishers.  You  hold  the  commission  of 
my  good  master,  the  King  of  France.  I  will 
steer  you  to  a  French  port,  where  you  will  be 
nobly  welcome.  A  way  will  be  found  to  repay 
all  who  have  embarked  their  substance  in  this 
venture.  Then,  sir,  you  and  I  will  take  the  sea 
in  a  King's  ship,  and  with  us  will  go  the  best 
blood  of  France  and  England.  'Fore  God,  we 
will  harry  Spain  till  no  galleon  dare  put  its  nose 
outside  Cadiz  Bay." 

"  And  this  is  your  considered  counsel,  Master 
Jacques  ? '  he  asked. 

"  My  considered  counsel,  sir,"  I  said. 

He  walked  a  few  paces  up  the  deck,  his  chin 
on  his  breast.  Then  he  laid  an  arm  about  my 

"  Tis  not  mine,"  he  said.  "  You  tempt  me, 
good  friend,  but  more  by  your  loyalty  than  your 
designs.  'Twould  be  a  heartsome  task  to  sail  the 
seas  with  you  and  twenty  honest  gentlemen.  I 
am  not  so  old  but  my  blood  stirs  at  the  thought. 
We  should  make  a  gallant  company,  Master 
Jacques — you  and  nephew  George,  and  Jack 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  209 

Carew,  and  a  dozen  of  your  Breton  sea-dogs.  We 
should  harry  the  Dons  and  be  outlawed  by  every 
Court  in  Europe.  Nay,  we  might  restore  that 
old  warfare  between  Spain  and  England,  without 
which  there  can  be  no  lasting  peace.  But  'tis  a 
boy's  dream.  For,  mark  you,  I  have  left  some- 
thing very  precious  behind  me  in  England  which 
I  must  ransom." 

I  looked  my  bewilderment. 

"  My  good  fame,"  he  said.  "  I  have  ever 
faced  my  destiny.  You  would  not  have  me  run 
from  it  at  the  last.  Look  you,  I  have  stood 
before  all  England  for  something  which  is  half 
forgotten.  I  have  preached  the  Gospel  of  an 
Ocean  empire  and  of  plantations  in  the  West. 
I  have  urged  that  if  England  is  to  stand  high  in 
Europe  she  must  fight  her  battles  overseas.  Of 
late  few  have  heeded  me.  I  was  like  an  owl 
hooting  in  the  churchyard  among  things  dead 
and  moss-grown.  But  this  expedition  hath 
wrought  a  change.  The  eyes  of  England 
are  again  upon  me.  Had  I  won,  the  King 
and  his  Council  would  have  swung  round  with 
the  new  tide.  But  I  have  failed,  you  say. 

(1,662)  U 

2io         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Ay,  but  there  is  hope  for  my  gospel,  if  none 
for  me." 

I  began  to  see  light  in  his  argument. 

"What  would  become  of  it,"  he  asked,  "if  I 
fled  the  land  ?  '  Raleigh,'  all  would  say,  c  is 
turned  pirate  and  Frenchman.'  They  would  not 
blame  me,  but  to  England  I  would  be  as  dead. 
I  would  have  shrunk  from  my  last  duty,  and 
God  does  not  prosper  a  coward." 

"  But,  sir,"  I  said,  "  if  they  slay  you,  what 
becomes  of  your  high  plans  ?  ' 

He  smiled  in  his  odd,  subtle  way,  his  eyes 
looking  far  into  some  untravelled  country. 

"  They  will  flourish,  for  my  blood  will  water 
them.  Sanguis  martyrum  semen  imperil.  These 
last  days  I  have  been  reading  in  Plutarch  of 
Julius  Cssar,  and  find  much  comfort.  For  mark 
what  Julius  did.  He  built  the  Empire  of  Rome, 
but  the  Empire  would  not  have  endured  but  for 
his  death.  'Twas  Brutus'  dagger  that  sealed  the 
work.  I  have  often  a  fancy  that  the  great 
Julius  knew  of  the  plot  and  welcomed  it,  for  he 
believed  that  such  a  structure  must  be  baptized 
with  the  blood  of  the  builder." 

THE    KING'S    PATH.  211 

"  You  choose  death,  then,  of  your  free  will  ? ' 
said    I.      "  I    am   an   old   campaigner   and    have 
often  faced  it,  but  God  knows  I   have  not  the 
heart  to  walk  to  it  with  so  calm  an  eye." 

He  smiled  sadly.  "  Your  flattery  is  ill-placed. 
I  have  nothing  to  live  for  but  my  dreams.  I 
have  buried  my  dear  son,  and  for  my  wife  I  can 
best  save  the  poor  relics  of  my  fortunes  by 
returning  home.  My  old  companions  are  all 
dead  and  forgotten.  I  have  only  dreams  to 
furnish  my  bare  house  of  life,  and  for  those 
dreams  I  must  spend  what  remains  to  me." 

I  could  have  wept  at  his  words,  but  'twas  not 
for  me  to  frustrate  so  high  a  nobility. 

"  Will  you  tell  the  crews  ? '  I  asked  hoarsely. 
"  They  are  in  an  ill  temper,  and  will  heed  only 

A  trumpet  blew  the  assembly,  and  yesternight's 
mutineers,  besides  my  loyal  fighting-men,  gathered 
below  the  poop.  Raleigh  stood  by  the  rudder, 
looking  cheerfully  as  if  he  had  a  pleasant  tale  to 

"  Dear  hearts,"  he  said,  "  it  has  been  told  me 
that  you  are  concerned  about  the  future.  Fear 

212         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

not,  for  I  will  land  no  man  in  England  against 
his  will.  Those  who  desire  it  I  will  put  ashore 
in  Ireland  with  some  provision  for  their  suste- 
nance. It  has  been  told  me  also  that  you  grieve 
for  the  fate  of  your  Admiral,  and  would  have  me 
keep  the  seas  or  seek  a  French  port.  Your 
charity  stirs  me  greatly,  but  you  waste  your  pity. 
I  have  nothing  left  to  me  but  my  honour,  and  I 
go  to  redeem  it.  Think  me  not  boastful,  but  I 
hold  death  as  no  more  than  a  thistle's  down,  if 
thereby  I  can  come  to  my  desire.  If  they  slay 
me,  England  will  think  the  better  of  me,  and  in 
a  hundred  years  men's  minds  will  turn  to  my 
thoughts,  and  see  their  worthiness.  Fear  not  for 
me,  brave  lads.  'Tis  for  England's  sake  and  her 
unborn  people's  that  I  must  return.  You  would 
not  hinder  me  from  so  great  a  joy  ? ' 

There  was  no  answer  from  the  crews,  but  there 
were  few  dry  eyes  among  them.  And  these 
were  the  fellows  who  twelve  hours  before  would 
have  flung  us  both  into  the  sea !  .  .  . 

Chapter   X. 

*'  Give  me  my  scallop-shell  of  quiet, 

My  staff  of  faith  to  rest  upon, 
My  scrip  of  joy,  immortal  diet, 

My  bottle  of  salvation, 
My  gown  of  glory,  hope's  true  gage ; 
And  thus  I'll  take  my  pilgrimage. 

Blood  must  be  my  body's  balmer  ; 

No  other  balm  will  there  be  given  ; 
Whilst  my  soul  like  quiet  palmer, 
.  Travelleth  towards  the  land  of  heaven  ; 
Over  the  silver  mountains, 
Where  spring  the  nectar  fountains : 

There  will  I  kiss 

The  bowl  of  bliss  ; 
And  drink  mine  everlasting  fill 
Upon  every  milken  hill. 
My  soul  will  be  a-dry  before  ; 
But  after,  it  will  thirst  no  more." 


Chapter   X. 



...  I  WAS  sore  delayed  on  the  road,  owing  to 
the  mires  about  Winchester,  and  it  was 
the  morning  of  Thursday,  October  the  2 8th, 
before  I  arrived  in  London.  I  went  straight  to 
my  lady  Raleigh's  lodgings  in  Broad  Street, 
that  I  might  comfort  my  dear  cousin.  On  the 
way  I  had  heard  the  issue  of  the  trial,  and  how 
Sir  Walter  was  to  be  executed  the  next  morning. 
'Twas  no  surprise,  for  His  Majesty  had  resolved 
at  all  costs  on  friendship  with  Spain,  and  the 
voice  of  Count  Gondomar  had  more  authority 
than  any  Englishman's.  But  so  slender  was  the 
case  that  the  Court  dare  not  condemn  him  for 
his  Guiana  voyage,  seeing  that  if  he  had  shed 

*  Francis  Champernoun  wrote  this  chapter  and  the  one  following,  and  left 
them  as  a  bequest  to  his  children.  A  hundred  years  afterwards  the  Reverend 
Launcelot  Matthews  incorporated,  by  permission  of  the  family,  certain  passages 
from  the  narrative  in  his  Itincrarium  Devonice. 

214         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Spanish  blood  'twas  because  his  journey  was 
opposed,  and  all  England  held  that  Spain  had 
no  better  title  to  Guiana  than  to  Kent.  So  they 
fell  back  upon  the  old  trial,  fifteen  years  before, 
and  he  was  judged  to  die  by  reason  of  his  share 
in  Cobham's  plot.  I  leave  future  ages  to  approve 
the  honesty  of  such  a  course.  Sir  Walter  was  to 
perish  that  Spain  might  be  appeased,  but  the 
charge  on  which  he  fell  was  that  once  he  had  been 
too  good  a  friend  to  Spain  !  I  envy  not  the  con- 
science of  those  who  compassed  this  pitiful  folly. 
I  found  my  cousin  Bess  sore  shrunken  with 
grief,  but  sustained  by  that  great  heart  which 
for  twenty  years  of  stress  had  never  failed  her. 
She  had  lived  so  long  in  suspense  that  the  worst 
was  no  new  thing,  and  she  bore  it  as  one  who 
has  ever  been  an  intimate  of  sorrow.  My  lady 
Astley  was  with  her,  the  wife  of  the  lieutenant 
of  the  Tower,  who  had  been  a  good  friend 
to  Sir  Walter  in  those  last  days.  'Twas  her 
daughter  Lucy  that  became  the  wife  of  that 
noted  soldier,  Colonel  Hutchinson,  who  in  after 
years  held  Nottingham  Castle  against  King 


In  the  evening  Sir  Walter  was  brought  to  the 
Gate-house  of  St.  Peter  at  Westminster,  and  Bess 
and  I  set  out  to  visit  him.  'Twas  a  rainy  night, 
and  round  the  gateway  stood  a  press  of  citizens, 
eager  to  have  news  of  the  prisoner,  for  he  was 
dearly  loved  by  the  common  folk.  Heads  were 
bared  as  Bess  entered,  and  there  were  cries  of 
wrath  and  regret.  "  Bid  Sir  Walter  be  of  good 
cheer,"  one  fellow  whispered ;  "  for  he  leaves  a 
name  that  will  never  be  wiped  out  of  English 

To  my  amazement,  we  found  him  seated  amid 
a  group  of  friends,  cheerfully  taking  tobacco. 
His  countenance  these  latter  years  had  been 
often  heavy  and  his  eye  wild  and  restless.  But 
now  'twas  as  if  some  kind  hand  had  smoothed 
the  lines  from  his  brow.  He  seemed  younger 
than  he  had  looked  since  I  saw  him  enter 
London  after  his  Cadiz  fight.  His  eye  was  mild 
and  peaceful,  but  grave,  as  became  one  on  the 
threshold  of  eternity.  Yet  as  he  set  a  chair  for 
his  wife  there  was  merriment  in  it. 

"  There  is  scant  room  for  the  spectators  at 
to-morrow's  play,"  he  said.  "I  have  been  warn- 

216         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

ing  Sir  Hugh  to  come  in  good  time  if  he  would 
make  sure  of  a  place.  I  alone  need  have  no 
fears  on  that  score." 

But  when  he  saw  my  clouded  brow  he  patted 
me  on  the  shoulder  and  bade  me  be  cheerful. 

"  Grieve  not  for  me,  Francis,"  he  said. 
"  What  is  this  world  but  a  larger  prison,  out 
of  which  some  are  daily  chosen  for  execution  ? 
I  am  the  fortunate  one  to  die  with  my  good 
friends  around  me.  It  might  have  been  in  a 
Guiana  swamp  or  in  some  gale  of  the  Ocean, 
where  I  would  have  had  scant  time  to  think  of 

Francis  Thyn,  my  cousin,  who  did  not  cease 
to  weep  with  his  head  in  his  hands,  counselled 
him  not  to  carry  himself  with  too  much  bravery. 
"  Your  enemies  have  ever  accused  you  of  pride," 
he  said,  "  and  it  is  seemly  to  go  to  God  with  a 
grave  spirit." 

Sir  Walter  laughed.  "  Fear  not,  dear  cousin. 
I  am  merry  because  I  have  little  to  sorrow  for. 
Of  late  I  am  the  less  fit  for  labour,  and  I  wel- 
come Death,  which  gives  me  rest.  'Tis  my  last 
mirth  ;  do  not  grudge  it  me.  I  grieve  to  part 

THE    LAST    VENTURE.  217 

from  you,  my  true  wife  and  my  true  comrades, 
but  it  must  not  be  said  that  Raleigh  feared  what 
he  so  often  dared.  I  would  have  England  see  me 
go  joyfully  to  my  end,  that  she  may  honour  the 
faith  that  can  support  a  man  both  in  life  and 
death.  'Tis  my  testament,  dear  lad,  the  little 
all  I  have  to  leave." 

Wine  was  brought,  and  he  pledged  us  in  a 
cup.  "To  the  Indies,"  he  drank,  "which  the 
English  shall  yet  possess !  To  the  brave  fellows 
who  will  yet  sail  to  the  West  with  better  fortunes 
than  me  ! " 

Then  he  asked  that  all  should  leave  him,  save 
Bess  and  me  and  Doctor  Tounson,  the  Dean  of 
Westminster,  whom  the  Council  had  appointed 
to  attend  him.  The  Dean  inquired  into  his 
spiritual  state.  He  answered  with  reverence, 
saying  that  he  was  persuaded  that  no  man 
that  loved  God  and  feared  Him  could  die 
with  cheerfulness  and  courage,  except  he  were 
assured  of  God's  love  and  favour.  I  have  never 
seen  a  resolution  so  calm  and  heavenly.  The 
Dean  would  have  encouraged  him  against  the 
fear  of  death,  but  Sir  Walter  answered  that  he 

2i 8         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

had  no  fear.  "  The  manner  of  my  death,"  he 
said,  "  may  seem  grievous  to  others,  but  for 
myself  I  would  rather  die  so  than  of  a  burning 
fever.  My  soul  will  be  my  own  till  the  steel 
falls."  Then  he  gave  to  the  Dean  his  Bible  to 
keep  as  a  remembrance.  In  it  he  had  written 
some  lines  which  I  transcribe  : 

"  Even  such  is  time,  that  takes  in  trust 
Our  youth,  our  joys,  our  all  we  have, 
And  pays  us  but  with  age  and  dust ; 
Who  in  the  dark  and  silent  grave, 
When  we  have  wandered  all  our  ways, 
Shuts  up  the  story  of  our  days  ! 
But  from  this  earth,  this  grave,  this  dust, 
The  Lord  shall  raise  me  up,  I  trust." 

After  this  Doctor  Tounson  left,  and  he  was 
alone  with  Bess  and  me.  He  embraced  his  wife, 
stroking  her  hair,  and  saying  that  to  leave  her 
was  the  only  bitterness  of  death.  I  mind  that 
she  wept  sore,  a  thing  I  had  not  marked  before 
in  her,  for  she  was  a  woman  of  great  strength  of 
soul.  "  For  thirty  years,  dear  heart,"  he  said, 
"  you  have  been  my  true  comrade,  and  have  ever 
sweetened  my  sorrows  and  doubled  my  joys.  I 
have  so  ordered  things  that  you  may  live  out  the 
days  yet  left  to  you  in  a  little  ease,  and  Francis 

THE    LAST    VENTURE.  219 

will  guide  your  small  estate  well.  I  leave  you 
the  charge  of  our  son,  and  the  care  of  my 
memory.  Be  not  lonely,  dear  wife,  for  God's 
good  angels  will  be  near  you,  and  in  a  little  time 
we  will  be  joined  in  Paradise." 

I  was  too  moved  to  take  note  of  what  followed, 
but  I  mind  that  she  asked  him  if  he  had  any 
other  words  for  her.  He  said  that  on  the 
morrow  he  would  speak  from  the  scaffold  to 
all  England,  touching  the  cause  for  which  he 
died,  but  to  her  he  needed  no  defence.  Then 
he  remembered  something  about  an  Irish  debt 
which  he  bade  me  discharge,  and  he  besought 
me  to  do  something  for  the  memory  of  Captain 
Keymis.  His  one  regret  was  that  he  had  used 
harsh  speech  to  him  on  the  Guiana  voyage,  and 
he  would  fain  have  undone  it. 

The  hour  of  twelve  struck  from  St.  Peter's 
clock,  and  Bess  declared  that  he  must  rest.  Her 
tears  broke  out  afresh  at  the  parting,  and  she  told 
him  that  she  had  leave  to  bury  his  body.  "  It 
is  well,  dear  Bess,"  he  said,  smiling,  "  that  thou 
mayst  dispose  of  that  dead  which  thou  hadst 
not  always  the  disposing  of  when  alive."  And 

220         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

when  she  had  almost  swooned,  he  held  her  in 
his  arms  and  bade  her  show  her  courage  to  the  last. 
"  'Tis  no  true  parting,  sweet  lass,"  he  said,  "for  the 
living  and  the  dead  are  alike  in  God's  keeping." 

But  I  think  his  philosophy  was  near  breaking. 
For  as  I  led  her  out  of  the  chamber,  he  looked 
after  her  with  anguished  eyes,  as  knowing  that 
he  would  never  see  her  again  on  earth. 

I  left  Bess  with  my  lady  Astley  praying  by  her 
side,  and  reached  the  Gate-house  by  seven  o'clock 
of  a  raw  autumn  morn.  I  had  a  warrant  from 
the  Council  for  admission,  and  found  Sir  Walter 
busy  with  his  dressing.  He  had  donned  his 
richest  suit,  for,  as  he  said,  he  would  not  dress 
less  nobly  for  death  than  for  a  bridal.  He  wore, 
I  remember,  a  yellow  satin  doublet  and  breeches 
of  black  taffeta  and  silk  stockings,  and  over  all 
a  black  wrought  velvet  night-gown.  Likewise 
on  account  of  his  ague  he  had  a  laced  skull-cap. 
He  ate  a  hearty  breakfast,  and  smoked  a  pipe 
of  tobacco,  as  if  he  were  at  Sherborne  with  a 
summer's  day  before  him  and  no  more  care  than 
the  ordering  of  his  gardens. 

THE    LAST   VENTURE.  221 

About  the  hour  of  nine  the  Sheriffs  and  their 
men  arrived,  and  bade  him  make  ready  to  attend 
them.  The  jailer  of  the  Gate-house,  who  loved 
him  deeply,  brought  a  cup  of  hot  sack  against 
the  chill  of  the  morning.  He  drank  it  gladly, 
and  when  asked  if  it  were  to  his  liking,  he  said : 
"I  will  answer  you  as  did  the  fellow  who  drank 
of  St.  Giles'  bowl  as  he  went  to  Tyburn  :  '  'Tis 
good  drink,'  he  said,  *  if  a  man  might  but  tarry 
by  it.'  Then  he  bade  me  farewell,  kissing  me 
on  both  cheeks ;  and  with  a  great  beating  of 
drums  he  was  gone. 

I  had  a  seat  provided  in  Sir  Randolph  Carew's 
balcony,  but  I  chose  rather  to  join  the  press 
around  the  scaffold,  that  I  might  be  near  to 
Sir  Walter  at  the  end.  There  was  a  mighty 
crowd  of  folk,  among  whom  I  saw  old  sailormen 
and  grim  bronzed  fellows  from  the  ports,  whose 
mouths  were  set  sternly  as  if  to  choke  back  tears. 
Far  off  from  Citywards  came  the  jangling  of  bells, 
for  'twas  the  day  of  the  Lord  Mayor's  procession  ; 
but  that  must  have  been  an  empty  show,  for  near 
all  London  was  assembled  in  Palace  Yard,  and 
the  barriers  which  had  been  built  were  swept 

222         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

away  like  sandhills  by  the  tide.  The  scaffold 
was  close  in  front  of  the  Parliament  House, 
where  Sir  Walter  had  once  his  seat.  A  fire 
burned  by  it  for  the  Sheriffs  to  warm  themselves 
at,  and  as  he  mounted  the  steps,  Sir  Walter  held 
his  hands  to  the  blaze.  The  ague  was  ever  on 
him,  and  I  knew  that  he  feared  lest  a  fit  should 
take  him  and  choke  his  utterance. 

My  lords  Northampton  and  Doncaster  and 
Arundel,  who  had  found  monies  for  the  Guiana 
voyage,  ascended  the  scaffold  and  shook  Raleigh's 
hand.  I  remember  that  in  the  crowd  that 
pressed  about  its  foot  there  was  an  old  man  with 
a  bald  head.  Sir  Walter  noted  him,  and  asked 
why  he  had  ventured  out  on  such  a  morning. 
"  For  no  reason,"  said  the  old  man,  "  but  to  see 
you  and  pray  God  for  you."  Whereupon  Sir 
Walter  took  his  laced  cap  from  his  head  and 
flung  it  to  him.  "  Take  it,  my  friend,"  he  cried, 
"  for  you  need  it  now  more  than  I."  The  fellow 
received  it  gladly,  but  did  not  don  it.  He  folded 
it  reverently  and  placed  it  in  his  bosom. 

Then  Raleigh  began  to  speak.  At  first  his 
voice  was  hoarse  with  the  cold,  and  his  face  wan 

THE    LAST   VENTURE.  223 

and  pinched  like  one  with  the  ague.  But  as  he 
continued  his  voice  cleared,  his  colour  returned, 
and  once  again  he  had  the  air  of  youth  and 
freedom  that  I  remembered  on  the  night  before. 
He  began  by  thanking  God  that  He  had  sent  him 
to  die  in  the  light  before  an  assembly  of  honour- 
able witnesses,  and  that  his  fever  had  not  taken 
him  at  the  time.  Then  he  told  the  story  of  the 
Guiana  voyage,  and  rebutted  the  charge  of  such 
as  thought  him  an  intriguer  with  France  or  a 
reviler  of  the  King.  "  It  is  no  time  for  me  to 
flatter  or  to  fear  princes,"  he  said,  "  I  who  am 
subject  only  unto  Death ;  yet,  if  I  ever  spake 
disloyally  or  dishonestly  of  the  King,  the  Lord 
blot  me  out  of  His  Book  of  Life  ! ' 

He  spoke  of  his  purposes  in  the  Guiana  voyage, 
and  called  on  my  lord  Arundel  to  bear  witness 
that  he  had  ever  promised  to  return,  whether  he 
failed  or  succeeded.  He  told  how  the  crew  of 
the  Destiny  would  fain  have  kept  him  out  of 
England,  unless  he  had  striven  with  them  and 
won  their  consent  to  go  back.  Then  he  spoke 
of  my  lord  Essex's  death,  and  his  voice  faltered. 
There  were  some  that  said  he  had  slighted  the 

224         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

Earl  at  his  execution.  "Nay,"  he  cried,  "rather 
I  bewailed  him  with  tears.  Though  I  was  of  a 
contrary  faction,  yet  I  knew  well  that  his  enemies 
were  my  enemies,  and  'twas  those  who  did  him 
to  death  who  later  pulled  me  down." 

Last,  in  a  hush  so  deep  that  the  striking  of 
the  hour  from  St.  Peter's  Church  was  like  the 
trump  of  doom,  he  sought  from  all  pardon 
and  prayers.  He  said  :  "  I  entreat  that  you  will 
all  join  with  me  in  prayer  to  the  great  God  of 
Heaven,  whom  I  have  grievously  offended,  for  I 
have  been  a  soldier,  a  sailor,  and  a  courtier,  which 
are  courses  of  wickedness  and  vice.  ...  I  have 
a  long  journey  to  take,  and  must  bid  the  company 
farewell.  I  have  been  a  man  of  many  ventures, 
and  now  I  embark  on  the  last  and  longest.  So  I 
take  my  leave  of  you,  making  my  peace  with 

The  Sheriffs  bade  all  depart  from  the  scaffold, 
and  there  were  left  only  Sir  Walter,  the  Dean, 
and  the  headsman.  The  press  of  the  throng  had 
brought  me  close  under  the  bars,  and  I  could 
mark  every  line  of  Raleigh's  face.  While  all 

THE    LAST    VENTURE.  225 

men  were  sobered  and  solemnized  by  his  words, 
many  weeping  silently,  he  himself  bore  a  bright 
and  cheerful  countenance.  I  was  so  taken  by  the 
sight  that  I  forgot  to  sorrow.  Nay,  there  seemed 
no  cause  to  sorrow,  for  the  man  was  all  radiant 
and  joyful,  like  a  youth  setting  out  on  a  happy 

He  gave  his  hat  and  some  money  to  the 
attendants  who  had  been  with  him  at  the  Gate- 
house, and  then  prepared  himself  without  assist- 
ance for  the  block.  He  took  off  his  gown  and 
doublet  and  bared  his  neck.  I  noticed  how 
brown  was  the  upper  part  where  the  wind  and 
sun  had  beaten,  and  how  white  the  lower. 
'Twas  like  a  line  to  guide  the  hand  of  Death. 

He  called  for  the  axe,  and  the  headsman,  a 
lean  bowed  fellow  much  overcome  by  the 
occasion,  fumbled  and  would  have  denied  it. 
Raleigh  chid  him.  "  Do  you  think  I  am  a  babe 
to  fear  steel  ?  "  he  asked. 

He  ran  his  finger  down  the  edge,  and  turned 
to  the  Sheriffs  with  a  smile.  "  'Tis  a  sharp 
medicine,  but  'tis  a  sure  cure  for  all  diseases." 

After  that  he  went  to  the  four  corners  of  the 

(1,562)  15 

226         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

scaffold  and  spoke  to  the  crowd.  He  asked  their 
pardon  for  what  he  had  done  amiss  in  life,  and 
besought  them  to  remember  the  good  and  forget 
the  ill.  "  Cherish  my  dreams,"  he  said.  "  I  am 
like  the  man  in  the  fairy  tale  who  dreamed  true, 
though  he  got  nothing  but  blows  for  it."  He 
asked  them  to  pray  to  God  to  bestow  on  him 
strength.  To  my  lord  Arundel  he  said  some- 
thing which  I  could  not  catch,  but  which  I 
judged  was  a  message  to  the  King.  Last,  the 
Dean  asked  him  in  what  faith  he  died.  He 
replied  that  he  was  of  the  faith  of  the  Church  of 
England,  and  hoped  to  have  all  his  sins  washed 
away  by  the  precious  blood  of  our  Saviour 

Then  I  think  my  eyes  dazzled,  and  I  seemed 
to  see  him  larger  than  mortal  above  that  multi- 
tude. Save  that  figure  on  the  scaffold  all  the 
world  went  small.  The  Dean  was  but  a  bent  old 
man,  with  silly  eyes.  The  headsman  and  the 
Sheriffs  were  things  of  straw  and  tinsel.  The 
Lords  in  the  balconies  were  hollow  creatures,  all 
fearful  and  craven.  The  great  throng  was  made 
up  of  weary  broken  folk,  sheep  with  no  shepherd. 

THE    LAST    VENTURE.  227 

'Twas  an  assemblage  of  death-heads  ;  only  Raleigh 
lived ;  only  he  was  young  and  strong  and  joyful. 
I  was  in  a  trance  like  St.  Paul,  and  seemed  to  see 
for  one  moment  how  Sir  Walter's  future  fame 
would  rise  to  comfort  this  realm  of  England. 
I  was  pressed  close  under  the  bars  of  the  scaffold, 
and  by  stretching  my  hand  could  almost  have 
touched  his  feet.  I  looked  up  into  his  face,  and, 
like  Stephen's,  it  was  transfigured.  Aforetime 
there  had  been  a  petulance  in  the  lips  and  a  pride 
in  the  eye  :  but  all  was  cleared,  so  that  it 
shone  with  good-will  and  the  peace  of  God. 

In  a  dream  I  heard  words.  The  headsman 
spread  a  cloak  for  him  to  kneel  on,  and  besought 
his  pardon.  Raleigh  put  his  hand  on  the  man's 
shoulder  and  forgave  him.  Then  the  Dean 
would  have  him  lay  his  head  on  the  block  with 
the  face  to  the  East.  Sir  Walter,  smiling,  asked, 
"  What  matter  how  the  head  lies  so  the  heart 
be  right  ?  "  but  he  did  the  Dean's  will.  He  was 
offered  a  bandage  for  his  eyes,  which  he  put  away. 
"  Think  you,"  he  asked,  "  that  I  fear  the  shadow 
of  the  axe  when  I  fear  not  the  substance  ? ' 

He  kneeled  and  laid  his  head  on  the  block. 

228         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

and  as  he  kneeled  he  cried  to  the  people,  "  Give 
me  heartily  your  prayers."  There  was  no  answer, 
but  a  sobbing  like  the  wind  in  trees. 

He  bade  the  headsman  strike  when  he  should 
hold  forth  his  hands.  His  lips  moved  as  if 
in  prayer.  I  had  no  fear  or  sorrow,  for  what 
I  saw  seemed  to  me  too  glorious  for  sadness. 

The  signal  was  given,  but  the  headsman,  who 
shook  like  an  aspen,  did  not  stir. 

"  Strike,  man,  strike  ! '  cried  Sir  Walter. 
"  What  dost  thou  fear  ?  '  They  were  his  last 

The  blow  fell,  and  then  a  second,  and  the 
head  was  severed  from  the  body.  As  it  dropped 
the  lips  moved,  still  in  prayer. 

Then  my  trance  departed,  and  mortal  sorrow 
flowed  over  my  heart.  As  I  turned,  my  eyes 
blind  with  tears,  I  heard  the  headsman's  voice, 
hoarse  and  weak  as  if  it  feared  the  lie — "  This  is 
the  head  of  a  traitor  ! ' 

Chapter  XI. 



"The  greatest  honour  that  ever  belonged  to  the  greatest  Monarkes  was  the 
inlarging  their  Dominions,  and  erecting  Commonweales." 



Chapter  XL 



.  .  .  (~)N  a  mild  afternoon  in  early  April  we 
came  out  of  the  wolds  which  stretch 
east  and  west  from  Shaftesbury,  and  entered  the 
pleasant  vale  of  Sherborne.  Of  old  the  manor 
belonged  to  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  but  now  my 
lord  Digby  had  it  from  the  King.  There  rode 
with  me  my  cousin  Bess,  whom  I  carried  to  my 
house  at  Greenaway  in  Devon  that  she  might 
find  there  a  quiet  retreat  after  the  troublous  years 
she  had  known.  As  we  topped  the  hill,  and  saw 
the  meads  and  plantations  and  the  shining  stream 
all  yellow  in  the  April  sunlight,  we  reined  up  in 
a  sudden  sorrow.  I  have  always  held  Sherborne 
the  true  march  of  the  West  Country,  where 
something  of  our  mellow  Devon  air  begins  to 

230         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

temper  the  bleak  downs  of  Dorset.  For  certain 
I  have  never  seen  the  vale  more  fair  than  on  this 
afternoon.  The  Castle  lay  silent,  for  my  lord 
was  ever  about  the  Court,  and  was  but  now  back 
in  England  from  Spain.  But  I  marked  the 
gardens  Sir  Walter  had  planted,  and  especially 
the  terrace,  where  I  have  often  walked  with  him 
and  listened  to  his  discourse.  Every  stone  of 
the  house  was  of  his  building,  and  every  lawn 
called  him  its  creator.  For  myself,  I  choked  at  the 
sight,  and  Bess  wept  as  if  her  heart  would  break. 
I  bade  her  dismount,  and  gave  the  horses  to  a 
groom's  charge,  while  I  led  her  to  a  little  hillock 
beside  the  highway.  I  was  never  one  to  chide 
sorrow,  for  I  hold  that  to  grieve  is  a  natural 
comfort.  All  that  day  Bess  had  been  in  better 
heart,  full  of  plans  for  her  boy  Carew,  and  ready 
to  welcome  the  peace  of  Greenaway.  But  now, 
at  the  sight  of  Sherborne,  she  was  back  among 
the  pitiful  events  of  the  autumn,  when  the 
noblest  head  in  England  fell.  She  turned  weep- 
ing eyes  to  the  gardens,  where  once  she  had 
drunk  her  fill  of  happiness,  and,  sobbing  bitterly, 
she  told  of  this  and  that  ;  how  Sir  Walter  had 

"A    BETTER    INDIES."  231 

planned  a  new  fish-pond,  and  planted  a  long  alley 
of  cypress.  Then  she  fell  silent,  for  steps  were 
coming  down  the  road. 

'Twas  an  old,  grizzled  fellow,  who  walked 
lame,  as  if  from  a  long  journey.  He  stumped 
along  very  cheerfully,  whistling  an  air  beloved  by 
Devon  sailors,  The  Almiranty  of  Santa  Fee.  He 
had  writ  large  on  him  the  marks  of  the  sea,  in 
his  mahogany  cheek,  his  clear  blue  eye,  and  the 
bleached  hair  which  comes  from  Tropic  suns. 
Such  figures  as  his  have  grown  scarce  in  these 
days,  and  the  sight  of  him  lightened  my  heavi- 
ness. He  came  abreast  of  us,  pulled  off  his  hat, 
and  would  have  passed  on,  when  he  looked  at 
Bess  and  stopped  short  of  a  sudden. 

Bess  turned  her  sorrowful  eyes  on  him  ;  but  he 
never  looked  at  her  face.  His  gaze  was  fixed  on 
her  bosom,  where  hung  a  little  jewel  of  gold, 
which  Sir  Walter  had  prized  greatly,  and  wore 
always  next  his  heart.  He  stammered  and  took 
a  step  forward  ;  then  halted  and  stared  blankly. 

"  The  jewel  !  "  he  muttered,  "  Sir  Walter's 
jewel  !  You  have  the  charm,  my  lady." 

Bess  rose  and  held  out  her  hand. 

232         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

"  I  wear  Sir  Walter's  jewel,  good  friend,  be- 
cause I  was  once  Sir  Walter's  wife." 

At  this  the  seaman  was  on  his  knees  in  the 
dust,  kissing  her  hand. 

"  O  my  lady,  my  lady  !  '  he  cried  ;  "  I  have 
never  clapped  eyes  on  you  before,  but  I  was  an 
old  seaman  of  Raleigh's,  and  he  showed  me  that 
charm  in  Guiana.  'Tis  the  charm  for  El  Dorado, 
my  lady." 

"  He  has  gone  thither,"  she  said,  "  and  hath 
no  longer  need  of  a  charm." 

I  think  the  sight  of  the  old  sailor  had  braced 
her  to  a  better  mood. 

"  True,  true,  mistress,"  he  said  ;  "  that  is  a 
brave  soul.  I  am  old  Nathan  Stubbs,  who 
adventured  with  him  to  Guiana  twenty  years 
ago,  and  fought  with  him  at  Cadiz  and  in  the 
Islands.  I  have  sailed  many  voyages,  but  for  me 
he  was  my  sole  Captain.  I  am  on  my  way  back 
from  London  town,  where  I  journeyed  to  see  the 
last  of  him." 

"  But  that  was  six  months  since,"  I  said. 

"  True,  sir,"  he  nodded  ;  "  but  travelling  for  a 
poor  man  is  slow  work,  and  I  have  a  foolish  leg. 

"A    BETTER    INDIES."  233 

The  worst  of  the  way  is  by  now,  and  I  shall  be 
home  by  the  week's  end." 

This  he  said  in  a  tone  of  merriment,  but  I 
could  see  by  the  leanness  of  his  body  that  the 
journey  had  been  as  hard  as  it  had  been  slow. 

"  There  be  loyal  men  left  in  the  West,"  I  said. 

"  There  were  a  thousand  who  would  have 
walked  for  Sir  Walter  to  the  world's  end,"  he 
answered.  "  But  some  had  wives,  and  some  had 
young  children,  and  some  were  too  poor  to  buy 
provender,  and  only  Nathan  Stubbs,  who  calls  no 
man  or  woman  master,  had  the  luck  to  go. 
What  a  fortunate  man  I  be  ! ' 

"  And  now  ?  "  I  asked. 

"  Why,  now  I  go  back  to  Budleigh,  to  bide 
the  rest  of  my  days  in  the  house  which  my  uncle 
Noah  bequeathed  me.  I  am  too  old  for  voyages, 
and  there  be  no  captains  to  sail  with.  I  will 
smoke  my  pipe  on  the  harbour  wall,  and  tell  my 
tales  to  the  young,  in  the  hope  that  I  may  breed 
up  another  John  Hawkins  or  Francis  Drake. 
For  another  Raleigh  I  have  no  hope,  for  his  like 
comes  not  again." 

He  sat  himself  down  on  the  grass  beside  us, 

234         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

and  pulled  forth  a  great  brass  tobacco-box. 
When  he  had  lit  his  pipe,  he  inquired  of  me  the 
name  of  the  castle  in  the  trees. 

I  told  him  it  was  Sherborne,  a  former  house 
of  Sir  Walter's. 

"  Ay,"  said  he,  "  I  have  heard  on't.  Sir 
Walter  had  many  dwellings  in  his  day,  but  he 
had  but  the  one  home.  The  King  could  take  his 
manors,  but  he  could  not  make  him  homeless." 

Bess  looked  up  at  him,  and  asked  of  what  he 

"  Why,  my  lady,  as  I  read  it,  Sir  Walter  had 
but  one  home,  and  that  was  the  sea.  Or,  maybe 
'twas  in  the  Western  lands  where  his  fancy  ever 
turned.  But  'twas  not  in  England,  or  in  any 
stone  walls  or  green  gardens,  though  he  loved 
them  well." 

Bess  smiled  through  half-shed  tears. 

"  That  is  a  comforting  thought,  Master  Stubbs. 
I  have  been  looking  at  Sherborne,  and  grieving 
for  the  happy  days  that  are  past,  and  the  fair 
estate  that  is  now  another's.  But  you  say  truly. 
Sir  Walter  had  a  better  estate,  which  none  could 
take  from  him.' 

"A    BETTER    INDIES."  235 

"  Ay,  and  'tis  still  his,  and  his  spirit  holds  it 
in  trust  for  England.  Look  you,  my  lady,  when 
I  saw  Sir  Walter's  head  fall  I  was  out  of  my 
mind  with  sorrow.  With  some  old  comrades  we 
sought  our  lodging  in  Wapping,  and  would  have 
plotted  a  great  slaughter  of  them  who  had  com- 
passed the  crime.  But  by  good  fortune  I  slept 
on  the  matter,  and  in  the  morning  I  was  come  to 
a  better  mind.  For  thus  I  reasoned  with  myself. 
Those  who  have  taken  his  life  have  done  him  the 
best  service.  There  is  no  honest  soul  in  England 
but  thrills  with  the  shame  of  it,  and  glories  in  so 
proud  a  death.  A  spirit  is  abroad  which  will 
breed  and  multiply,  and  will  yet  do  more  than 
Raleigh  did  in  that  cause  he  loved.  So  I  says  to 
myself,  '  Nathan  Stubbs,'  I  says,  '  it  ill  becomes 
an  ignorant  man  such  as  you  to  be  interfering 
with  the  wise  ways  of  the  Almighty.'  So  I  held 
back  the  others  from  violence,  and  beyond  a 
broken  head  or  two  London  took  no  hurt  of  us. 
We  are  scattered  now,  and  I  am  hobbling  back 
to  Budleigh  ;  ly-.u  all  th<?  way  I  have  cheered  my 
heart  with  the  promise,  I  have  been  in  Virginia, 
my  lady,  and  seen  the  noble  rivers,  and  the  forests 

236         SIR    WALTER    RALEIGH. 

of  tall  trees,  and  the  plains  of  deep  grass.  Some 
day  we  English  will  dwell  there,  and  build  a  new 
nation.  Ay,  and  wherever  on  the  earth  there  is 
a  fine  land  to  be  made  out  of  the  wilderness  our 
children  will  plant  the  English  flag." 

He  swung  to  his  feet  and  looked  into  the  West, 
where  the  sun  was  now  beginning  to  decline. 

"  There  is  a  short  path  to  Axminster  near  by, 
and  I  must  be  well  on  the  road  to  Misterton 
before  the  darkening.  Fare-you-well,  my  lady. 
It  is  like  we  will  never  meet  on  earth,  but 
Nathan  Stubbs  gives  you  his  word  of  comfort  for 
a  sore  heart.  'Tis  Sir  Walter's  saying  :  Keep  in 
mind  those  better  Indies  than  the  King  of  Spain's." 

As  we  watched  the  steadfast  old  figure  plod- 
ding down  the  road  Bess  laid  her  hand  on  my 
arm  and  smiled. 

"  God  has  sent  me  a  true  consoler,"  she  said. 
"  I  weep  no  more  for  Sherborne.  Nay,  I  rejoice 
that  Sir  Walter  hath  left  to  us  and  to  all  England 

an  inheritance  so  princely." 

:     '.  «••••  ' 

'  '       '   ' 

THE    END. 

1  i    ' 

/v  ;/ 

'F          %_.•      -' Jtr 

-\t/"5«-k    /^^  --i':-^v- ^^S^e^r^^HA.H-iatV^vli^s.^S,.:  •»"          «I 

/.%'^|^^^|^^^54^^  .--;  ,^\  l 

By  the  Same  Author. 



Price  3s.  6d. 


"  Prester  John  is  a  splendid  story,  not  merely  compact 
with  thrilling  scenes,  but  distinguished  by  a  fine  literary 
flavour,  due  partly  to  the  author's  style  and  partly  to  his 
ability  to  describe  men  who  are  not  mere  automatons. 
Davie  Crawfurd,  Laputa,  Wardlaw,  an  Aberdeen  school- 
master ;  Henriques,  a  dirty  Portuguese  scoundrel,  and 
others  are  men  of  flesh  and  blood  as  living  and  real  as 
the  people  one  meets  every  day  in  the  street,  and  a  great 
deal  more  interesting." — Scotsman. 

"  Mr.  Buchan  has  done  a  very  bold  thing.  He  has 
written  a  book  for  boys,  without  fags,  or  football,  or  any 

of  the-  conventional  properties.  But  that  is  not  the  full 
extent  of  his  inspired  audacity.  He  has  written  a  book 
for  adults  without  a  love-interest.  In  a  word,  he  is  in 
the  line  and  tradition  of  Defoe  and  Stevenson.  For  the 
essence  of  the  true  book  for  boys  is  that  it  shall  be  pur- 
loined by  parents.  Prester  John,  if  we  mistake  not,  will  be 
the  cause  and  occasion  of  many  such  '  furtive  abstrac- 
tions.' " — English  Review. 

"  It  is  as  if  a  breath  of  the  veld  cut  sharply  across  the 
woolly,  comforting  fog  which  hides  Mr.  Buchan's  '  land 
behind  the  mist '  from  us,  and  he  sets  us  face  to  face  with 
the  magic  and  adventure  of  the  African  world.  Here  is 
no  tale  of  fortune  and  love — there  is  no  woman  in  the  book 
save  the  hero's  mother — but  in  place  of  the  heroine's 
portrait  to  front  the  title-page  there  is  a  map,  and  every  one 
knows  what  a  map  means  when  Mr.  Buchan  has  drawn  it 
and  set  it  as  the  scene  of  David  Crawfurd's  adventures. 
This  is  worked  out  with  the  skill  and  conviction  which 
Mr.  Buchan's  name  stands  for.  There  is  magic  and  ad- 
venture, feats  of  amazing  bodily  strength  and  victories  of 
spiritual  supremacy,  as  the  tale  of  the  Kaffir  rising  moves 
to  its  appointed  end." — Manchester  Guardian. 

"  Stevenson  could  hardly  have  bettered  the  first  chapters 
of  Mr.  Buchan's  book."— -Daily  News. 

"  It  is,  as  we  have  said,  a  magnificent  idea  for  a  story-— 


this  highly  educated  African,  eloquent  in  the  cause  of 
missions,  much  sought  after  by  the  churches  at  home, 
proving  to  be  in  reality  a  man  of  commanding  influence 
among  his  fellows,  indulging  a  dream  of  boundless 
Empire  and  omnipotent  rule,  and  working  with  the  zeal 
of  a  prophet  and  the  skill  of  the  born  leader  to  bring  about 
its  realization.  And  the  story  is  splendidly  told.  With 
breathless  interest  we  follow  David  Crawfurd  to  the  mys- 
terious cave  where  the  chiefs  gather  to  see  their  leader 
purified  and  vested  with  the  '  jewels  that  burned  in  Sheba's 
hair.'  " — The  Aberdeen  Free  Press. 

"  If  we  can  accept  Stevenson's  definition  of  Romance  as 
'  sudden  consciousness  of  background '  (and  by  '  back- 
ground '  he  evidently  meant  the  hidden  forces  that  work 
behind  it),  then  David  Crawfurd,  the  narrator  of  Mr. 
Buchan's  latest  novel,  Pre&ter  John,  assistant-storekeeper 
at  Blaauwildebeestefontein,  South  Africa,  and  sometime 
boy  and  lantern-bearer  of  Kirkcaple,  Fifeshire,  is  a 
romancer  to  the  manner  born.  Not  until  we  had  reached 
the  end  of  the  story  did  we  realize  that,  apart  from  a 
brief  mention  of  David's  mother  at  the  beginning,  there 
had  not  been  through  all  its  pages  so  much  as  the  flutter 
of  a  single  petticoat.  'Even  the  youngest  hearts 
grow  old/  he  protests  in  his  dedication.  But  we  have 
found  only  youth  in  the  epic  freshness  and  gusto  of  his 
spirited  tale." — Westminster  Gazette. 


"  '  It  is  a  long  time  since  I  came  across  a  romance  so  fine 
as  Prester  John,  by  Mr.  John  Buchan/  says  Mr.  James 
Douglas.  '  I  think  Robert  Louis  Stevenson  would  have 
revelled  in  it,  for  it  is  in  the  Stevensonian  vein,  although 
not  in  the  least  imitative  either  in  style  or  in  plot.'  " — The 

"  Young  David  Crawfurd,  the  narrator  and  hero  of 
Mr.  Buchan's  vehemently  exciting  South  African  romance, 
is  a  son  of  the  manse  who  abandons  theology  for  com- 
merce and  adventure.  On  the  recommendation  of  an 
uncle,  he  gets  the  offer  of  acting  as  an  assistant-store- 
keeper in  the  North  Transvaal,  promptly  closes  with  it,  and 
starts  for  South  Africa  in  a  fortnight.  The  narrative  is 
packed  full  of  incident,  and  room  is  found  for  much  illu- 
minating mental  portraiture."  —The  Spectator. 

London,  Edinburgh,  Dublin,  and  New  York. 



ME    X  I   C  O 


Flo;  ida.  k'rys  .  o''°  ' 




-^^^Or^--^0^  am  a*  fays 

F   1  R  ME